The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says farmers across the state have gained substantial relief from long-standing problems associated with locally operated agricultural vehicles now that Governor Corbett has signed legislation to update the state vehicle code.
"The changes allow farmers to safely and legally move farm vehicles and equipment from field to field and field to farmstead, which should be especially helpful for farmers during planting and harvest seasons," said PFB President Carl T. Shaffer.
Additional safety measures will also be required under certain conditions as part of the updated vehicle code.
"Farmers strongly support enhancing safety measures on larger farm vehicles traveling on Pennsylvania roadways in order to protect drivers and passengers in other vehicles. In fact, over the past few years many farmers have already complied with impending safety requirements by installing extra lighting or using pilot vehicles during their travels," added Shaffer.
The changes to the vehicle code were accomplished through Senate Bill 390 and House Bills 2371 and 2372. The legislation increases the width allowance for farm implements of husbandry to 16 feet, increases the distance farm equipment and trucks that are used primarily around the home farm can travel from 25 miles to 50 miles and increases the distance a multipurpose agriculture vehicle, such as a four-wheeler, can travel from two miles to five miles.
"In order to remain profitable, many farmers are traveling longer distances from the home farm to grow and harvest crops on land they own or rent. The changes in the law will allow farmers to go about the business of producing food for consumers without having to go through an unattainable permitting process," concluded Shaffer.
The Farm Bureau thanked Governor Corbett and members of the state General Assembly for helping PFB accomplish one of its top legislative priorities in 2012.