Lacombe County reminds motorists to watch for farm machinery on roads

It’s harvest season in Lacombe County, and work is in full swing. Lacombe County reminds those travelling on local roads keep safety at the forefront during fall harvest operations, whether you’re driving a van, combine or semi-truck. Road Safety Road safety is a big concern during harvest season. After a long break due to the COVID-19 health crisis, roads will be busy with harvest operations coinciding with increased numbers of buses and commuters who are returning to regular schedules with the start of the school year.

Since starting this campaign in 2014, Lacombe County says it has heard stories from both producers and drivers about unsafe driving during harvest season.

“Lacombe County is an agricultural community. Amidst these challenging times with COVID-19 and the chaos it has created, producers need to complete their annual harvest in a short amount of time,” said Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law.

“With that in mind, road courtesy is important, no matter where you are driving, and we ask everyone to practice patience on our local roads.”

The fact is large, slow-moving equipment utilizes County roads in the fall season. Drivers need to plan ahead and plan extra time into their schedules to compensate for delays which may be caused by harvest operations.

“We are a rural county, and during harvest season, we ask both agricultural producers and drivers utilizing County roads to stay alert, stay patient and stay safe,” said Reeve Law.

Harvest Safety Tips (from Alberta Agriculture & Forestry)

•Ensure safe transport of equipment on public roadways.

•Be aware of motorists.

•Follow all rules of the road.

•Ensure all lights and reflectors are in place and good working order. A slow-moving vehicle emblem should be in place and visible from the rear.

•Return equipment to transport mode to make it as narrow as possible.

•Check your route before transport to ensure equipment fits safely under power lines and over bridges or culverts that need to be crossed.

Fatigue Management

Lacombe County also highlights the importance of fatigue management for local producers. By building health, wellness and safety measures into a harvest plan, producers will go a long way in injury and accident prevention.

“It’s ok to take a break, rest, and unwind during harvest season,” emphasizes Reeve Law. “Fatigue is a serious risk and is a form of impairment for people. We want everyone to get home safely – so take the time to plan ahead, check your equipment, and take care of yourself.”

Ken Ritchie photo