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Machinery related highway fatalities remain high

A researcher says the number of fatal accidents on roads involving farm machinery remains high.

John Shutske is a professor and extension educator at the University of Wisconsin.  He tells Brownfield the most recent crash data shows more prevention is needed. “Forty total fatalities in 2019, and we’re talking just the State of Wisconsin, and then another 28 people died as a result of some type of encounter with a farm hazard in 2020.”

Shutske says Wisconsin did a lot of work around a decade ago upgrading implements of husbandry regulations, but Wisconsin is behind some surrounding states.  For example, Shutske says some machinery does not require turn signals and, “On smaller equipment, we only require that lighting and marking be present during nighttime hours or hours of darkness, and we know that a lot of these collisions and accidents occur during normal daylight.”

Shutske encourages farmers to install and USE safety lighting, even if the state law doesn’t require it for that piece of machinery.  He says many of the accident victims are members of the general motoring public and farmers need to take a deeper responsibility to help reduce the number of crashes.

John Shutske discusses machinery safety with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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