Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski last week signed into law stricter penalties for motorists who drive recklessly while maneuvering around tractors. The Oregon Farm Bureau said the law will provide greater protection for farmers on roadways.
HB 2554 expands the definition of "vulnerable user of public way" to include any farm tractor or implement of husbandry.
It is legal for farmers to drive their tractors or other farm equipment on public roads and both farmers and other drivers must take proper precautions to share the roadways, the Oregon Farm Bureau said.
"While farmers take safety precautions to ensure their machinery is easily visible, not all situations are met with appropriate caution," said Barry Bushue, Oregon Farm Bureau president.
Under Oregon law, farmers must affix a slow-moving vehicle reflector on any machine that travels slower than 25 mph on public roads.
Farmers are also advised to put reflective tape at the edges of farm machinery and to install lighting and mirrors to improve visibility and ability to see other vehicles, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation.