Ohio Law Gives Rules for Farm Machinery on Roadways

Q.:  Must tractors and other farm equipment have lights and reflectors if they are traveling on the road?

A.: Yes; all farm equipment traveling on Ohio roads must be equipped with lights and reflectors from sundown to sunup. The lights and reflectors must be visible and in working condition. In addition, they must be positioned to the extreme left and right of any farm equipment so other vehicles traveling on the road can see them.

Q.: If a vehicle such as a truck is escorting farm equipment on the road, must that vehicle have special lighting?

A.: Not necessarily. A motor vehicle that is escorting farm machinery may display a flashing, oscillating or rotating light on the vehicle; it also may display warning lights. For the safety of everyone on the roadway, a motor vehicle that is following farm machinery must at least have warning lights turned on to let other vehicles know that there is farm machinery ahead.

Q.: Must farm machinery display a slow-moving-vehicle sign (SMV) in addition to the lights and reflectors?

A.: Yes, a SMV sign must be displayed on farm machinery if it is traveling on the road.

Q.:  I live in the country.  Can I place some SMV signs at the entrance of my driveway for safety?

A.: No.  Slow-moving-vehicle signs can be used only for slow-moving vehicles, not driveways.

Q.: Who sets the standards for SMV signs and reflectors, and where can I find more information?

A.: The American Society of Agricultural Engineers sets forth the standards for SMV signs and reflectors that must be used on farm equipment.  For example, the current standard says that a specific type of reflective material must be used, which makes current SMV signs ten times brighter than those following the previous standard.  The standards are included in the Ohio Administrative Code, Section 4501-13.  You also can find information about SMV signs and reflector requirements at www.omeda.org/fastfacts/9487.htm.  In addition, you may consider consulting an attorney versed in agricultural law.

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