Can Drivers Legally Pass Slow Moving Farm Equipment in No-Passing Zones?
Last week I was driving in the Rhinebeck/Red Hook area when I witnessed someone do something that made me question whether it was legal or not.
We are beyond lucky in the Hudson Valley to have so many operational, working farms in the area, but some working farms cause some drivers to be a bit impatient. Now impatient is putting it as politely as I can because I think what I saw another driver do to a farmer that was driving his tractor on the road the other day was just wrong.
So I'm driving on Route 199 in the Red Hook area and while I cruising along, I was behind a car that out of nowhere slowed down quickly. As I slowed down, so I didn't hit them, I noticed that they were slowing down because there was a farmer driving his tractor on the road. It was a pretty big tractor and the farmer was driving half on the road half on the shoulder. We followed behind the tractor for a little bit, only going like 15 MPH and as we were moving, I could tell the driver in front of me was getting extremely angry.
No Patience Driver
He started to speed up and slow down and got real close to the tractor a few times. I think the farmer noticed it and slowed down even more...LOL! This went on for a bit and finally, when no cars were coming in the other direction, the driver raced into the other lane (over the double yellow lines) and passed the tractor. As he flew by, he honked his horn and the tractor driver gave him a wave (it looked like a sarcastic wave...LOL!). The tractor turned off the road about a half a mile down the road and after I passed him, I thought was that legal?
Isn't it illegal to pass any moving vehicle on a double yellow line?
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, it’s illegal to pass any slow-moving vehicles like tractors, self-propelled farm equipment, road construction, and maintenance machinery, that operate at less than 40 miles per hour in a no-passing zone.
What to do When You Encounter A Slow-Moving Vehicle
According to News 10 drivers should:
Slow down immediately
Increase following distance
Be alert and watch for unexpected turns
Pass with care only when it is safe and legal to do so
Be aware that equipment in tow may sway on the road
Remember slow-moving vehicle operators may have poor visibility due to loads and equipment in tow
At the end of the day, if you do come across any farmers on roads in the Hudson valley let's all exercise some extra patience because like we've said many times without farmers, we wouldn't have the food we all need to survive!