Press Release - 04-26-2018

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Thursday, April 26, 2018


Lisa Koumjian
[email protected]

Jola Szubielski
[email protected]



With spring on the way, farm vehicles, construction trucks and others may be on the road


As warm weather arrives, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Agriculture and Markets are reminding motorists to be ready to share the road with slow-moving vehicles. These include farm vehicles, construction trucks and equipment, and horses and buggies. State law defines a slow-moving vehicle (SMV) as designed to travel 25 miles per hour or less.


When motorists encounter a slow-moving vehicle on the roadway they should:

  • Slow down immediately
  • Increase following distance to create a safety cushion
  • Be alert and watch for unexpected turns
  • Pass with care only when it is safe and legal to do so
  • Be aware that animal-powered vehicles may make unanticipated movements
  • Be aware that equipment in tow may sway on the road
  • Remember SMV operators may have poor visibility due to loads and equipment in tow

Motorists are also reminded it is illegal to pass slow-moving vehicles in a no-passing zone even though they are traveling at slower speeds.


“As you take to the road, especially in rural areas, it is important to keep in mind that you may be sharing the road with slow-moving vehicles,” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and Acting Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). “We urge New Yorkers to give these vehicles space so that everyone can arrive at their destinations safely.”


State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, “Planting season is finally getting underway for farmers on our nearly 36,000 farms across the State and many have no choice but to drive their equipment on public roads to access their properties. Being mindful of this and using caution when approaching tractors and other farm vehicles goes a long way in keeping both farmers and drivers safe.”


The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee offers additional guidance on what to expect when sharing the road with a slow-moving vehicle on its website.


Operators of such vehicles are required to display a "slow-moving vehicle" symbol, which you can see and learn more about in a brochure available on the GTSC website.  


The United States Postal Service also requires these emblems to be displayed on all rural mail delivery vehicles. It is illegal to put SMV emblems on stationary objects – such as mailboxes or driveway posts.


The emblem should be placed in the center of the back end of the vehicle, located two to six feet above the road and kept clean and replaced when faded. Each piece of agricultural equipment, whether self-propelled or used in combination, must separately display a slow-moving vehicle emblem.


Under state law, self-propelled agricultural equipment can be used on public roads after dark and when visibility is less than 1,000 feet when it has two white head lamps, one red tail light on the rear as far left as possible and two amber lamps at least 42 inches high from the front and rear.


Vehicles drawn by animals should display on the rear either a slow-moving vehicle emblem or a lighted lantern with a red lens at least four inches in diameter, with the center of the lens to be 42 inches above the ground, the lantern to be near the left edge of the vehicle. The vehicle also should have 72 square inches of a high quality white or whitish-gray reflective tape.


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