On July 21, 2008, Governor Paterson signed Chapter 350 of the Laws of 2008, which modifies the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law pertaining to slow-moving vehicles. The law, which took effect January 1, 2009, was created in reaction to a 2004 fatal crash in Otsego involving a motorist and farm equipment.
The changes to Vehicle and Traffic Law involve three sections:
- Article 1, Section 100D - This section added the definition of Agricultural Equipment.
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- Every agricultural tractor, self-propelled implement of husbandry, and towed, mounted or semi-mounted implement of husbandry. "Implement of husbandry" shall mean a vehicle designed or adapted exclusively for agricultural, horticultural or livestock raising operations or for lifting or carrying an implement of husbandry.
- Article 9, Section 375, Subdivision 36, Paragraph (b) - Whether self propelled or used in combination like a tractor and hay wagon, for example, shall each separately display a slow-moving vehicle emblem.
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- (b) Farm machinery and implements of husbandry and other machinery including road construction and maintenance machinery designed to operate at twenty-five miles per hour or less, traveling on a public highway during day or night, whether self-propelled or used in combination, shall each separately display a slow-moving vehicle emblem as specified in paragraph (a) of this subdivision.
- Article 9, Section 376, Subdivision 1, Paragraph (a) - Requirement to use lamps when visibility is not clear 1000 feet ahead or behind Agricultural Equipment regardless of the time of day.
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- It shall be unlawful to operate, drive or park a vehicle, except a motorcycle operated during the period from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, on any public highway or street in this state at any time during the day or night unless such vehicle is equipped with signaling devices and reflectors of a type approved by the commissioner which are in good working condition; or to operate, drive or park a vehicle, except a motorcycle, on any public highway or street in this state, during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, unless such vehicle is equipped with lamps of a type approved by the commissioner which are lighted and in good working condition; or to operate, drive or park self-propelled agricultural equipment on any public highway or street in this state, during the period from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise and during such other times as visibility for a distance of one thousand feet ahead of or behind such agricultural equipment is not clear, unless such agricultural equipment is equipped with lamps of a type approved by the commissioner which are lighted and in good working condition.
The law requires the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee's (GTSC) member agencies to create a slow-moving vehicle public outreach campaign. The campaign is to: inform the general public of the proper use of the slow-moving vehicle emblem; educate the motorists of roadway safety pertaining to agricultural equipment; and include recommendations for operating vehicles safely when encountering agricultural equipment on roadways.
As part of the slow-moving vehicle campaign, the committee, comprised of staff from the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee, New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, New York State Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York State Police and New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, met to develop and implement countermeasures.
The committee created educational materials to heighten awareness of sharing the road with such as brochures and a PowerPoint presentation to be used at public events and meetings.
Sharing the Road with Slow-Moving Vehicles (pdf) - Adobe Acrobat® Reader required.
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