ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – As the weather heats up and farm crop season gets underway, Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol and other officials are urging motorists to watch for slow-moving vehicles and are reminding farmers of the responsibilities they have on the road as well.

“Society’s getting faster and faster-paced, and farm equipment’s still going the same pace – it is dangerous,” said Oneida County Farm Bureau President, John Collins.

Agriculture is Oneida County’s number one industry, and many farms are expanding. But bigger farms mean bigger equipment, so it’s important to know how to properly share the road.

“We have that obligation to teach people how to share the road,” said Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol. “One of those things is the SMV symbol – showing people what it is, and what it means, and what to look for.”

He continued, “Farmers have an obligation – they’ve got to make sure that their equipment has working lights, has the SMV symbols, all that stuff on it – and motorists also have an obligation to learn how to share the road with these vehicles.”

SMV, or slow-moving vehicles, operate at 40 mph or less, and the bright-orange, triangle emblems that you see, have been specifically designed for the usage of these vehicles – and these vehicles only.

“One percent of the population being the people feeding you – if a farmer gets hurt or a farmer passes away and dies due to a motor vehicle accident – that is a direct impact to you people that rely on us to feed you,” said local Oneida County Farmer & Farm Bureau Member Ben Simons.

We the farmers are just plain asking you – instead of getting the law involved – if you would please recognize this and do a service to your neighboring farmer and remove these, and they’re to be used for farm equipment slow-moving vehicles only.”

If you would like to learn more, additional resources can be found on the DMV website. Please be sure to use caution when sharing the road with SMV’s this season.