farmequip 041420CHAMPAIGN - To help drivers share the road with farm equipment, Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) urges farmers to use caution when they see a slow moving tractor or other piece of equipment on the road. 

While Illinoisans are staying home to slow the spread of coronavirus, farmers are still performing essential work during the 2020 planting season, which means drivers performing essential travel are sharing the road with more farm machinery. 

“Spring planting is an especially busy time for farmers and that brings additional risks to agriculture workers,” Senator Bennett said. “We’re seeing reduced vehicular traffic right now from the Stay at Home Order, but farmers and motorists are still expected to slow down and be safe, courteous drivers.” 

Visibility is key to road safety. All agricultural vehicles using the public roadways must display the fluorescent orange Slow Moving Vehicle triangle. Additionally, tractors and other self-powered farm vehicles must have proper lighting. According to Illinois law:


  • Lighting is required from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise.
  • There should be two white lamps on the front of the vehicle, visible from at least 1000 feet to the front of the vehicle.
  • There should be two red lamps on the rear of the vehicle, visible from at least 1000 feet to the rear of the vehicle.
  • There should be at least one flashing amber signal lamp on the rear of the vehicle, mounted as high as possible and visible from at least 500 feet, which can be used during daylight as well.

Drivers should remember that farm vehicle operators have limited visibility to the rear. Anyone passing such a vehicle needs to use extreme caution. 

Bennett is also reminding farmers to rest, eat and hydrate to stay safe during spring planting so that they can return home safe and sound at the end of each day.