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Collisions with horse-drawn vehicles prompts OPP warning: Share the roads

Spring planting season is upon us, and that means there will be more farm vehicles travelling on roadways
11-07-18 OPP Stock
Stock image

SOUTH BRUCE - Two very serious collisions last month in the region between horse-drawn vehicles and motorized vehicles is prompting this straight forward reminder to all drivers from the Ontario Provincial Police, stay alert and share the road.

Further, as the spring planting season embarks upon us drivers can expect to encounter increased amounts of slow moving farm vehicles travelling on our roadways.

"Collisions between horse-drawn vehicles and motor vehicles are devastating for everyone involved. Having an understanding of how to share the road can go a long way to benefit all drivers. Remember that horses travelling along the roads can be spooked and may be unpredictable. If you see a horse-drawn vehicle, slow down and be very cautious. Maintain a safe following distance and only pass when it is safe to do so. Safety is everyone's responsibility. Drive safely and share the road with any slow moving vehicle you may encounter on your travels," said South Bruce OPP Detachment Commander, Inspector Krista Miller

Drivers using roadways in rural parts of southwestern Ontario should expect to encounter slow moving vehicles such as horse-drawn vehicles and farm equipment on the road. They are common users of the road and have a right to be on the roadway. As a part of the OPP's ongoing commitment to make our roadways as safe as possible please take heed of the following:

  • Farming implements and horse-drawn vehicles are slow moving vehicles and should be marked with a slow moving vehicle sign to the rear. A slow-moving vehicle sign is used to warn drivers that a vehicle - as the name suggests - is moving slowly. Slow-moving vehicles can only travel up to 40 kilometres an hour - so it's important to be patient and slow down when approaching these vehicles on the road.
  • Farming implements and horse-drawn vehicles will be operating as far to the right as possible. Slow down and keep well back when approaching from behind. Be cautious of any upcoming turns into a farm lane or roadway from the vehicle ahead. Hand signals from the buggy operator or farm implement driver may be difficult to see.
  • Passing farm machinery or horse-drawn vehicles must be made to the left only - giving them as wide a berth as possible when passing. Passing too closely could scare or startle the horse, causing it to change direction suddenly on the roadway. Remember loud noises can spook animals.
  • Only pass farm vehicles and horse-drawn vehicles when it is safe to do so. 
  • Operators of farm equipment or horse-drawn vehicles are required to have two white lamps to the front and one red tail lamp to the rear when operating one half-hour after sunset to one half-hour before sunrise. 

Be courteous, be cautious, stay alert and share the road. Road safety starts with you -please do your part.