Drivers should be mindful of farming equipment on roads

Robert Craft

East Lackawannock Township

The Mercer County Farm Bureau is celebrating rural Roads Safety Week April 19-25 by encouraging county motorists to travel safely on roadways this spring and throughout the year.

You may have noticed that farmers are returning to the fields to begin planting crops. As the new season get underway, tractors, farm trucks, wagons and other large equipment are once again traveling on Pennsylvania roadways. To the distracted or impatient motorist, vehicles such as these can pose a threat when safe driving practices are not observed. For example, if a car is traveling 55 mph and comes upon a tractor moving 15 miles per hour, it only takes five seconds to close a gap the length of a football field between the car and the tractor.

Don’t forget to reduce your speed when driving on roads where you might encounter large farm machinery. Also make sure to slow down immediately when you see the Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem, which is an orange triangle with a red border, attached to farm vehicles.

In order to accommodate motorists, drivers of slow moving farm vehicles often pull onto the shoulder of a paved roadway to give other motorists a better view of road conditions and enough room to pass. Keep in mind that if the shoulder is soft, wet or steep, the farmer cannot move aside, because it could case the equipment to roll over. If the farmer is unable to safely pull his or her vehicle off the road, and you feel you must pass, do so with caution.

On behalf of the Mercer County Farm Bureau, I encourage all residents to be aware of farm vehicles and equipment during their travels and rural roads. By working together, we can make the trip safe for motorists and farmers.

ROBERT CRAFT is president of the Mercer County Farm Bureau.

Writer concerned about safety of school cafeteria staff

William Everall


I am writing with some concerns regarding COVID-19, and those people on the front lines interacting with others during this difficult time.

I saw a video of lunch ladies in Grove City preparing a huge amount of food to be distributed to students in the Grove City School District, which is much like the other districts in the nation. Although these ladies were wearing gloves and masks, they were still not able to practice social distancing in the confined area.Is it necessary for schools to provide meals to students when school is not in session? They don’t do it during vacations like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. And, during the summer months. So why is has it become necessary to provide them during this crisis?

Some schools are providing lunches daily and others are doing it twice weekly, while Grove City is doing it once a week, preparing 3,000 meals for the week that is five breakfast and five lunches for 300 students. Couldn’t those individuals get help from the local food pantries to feed their children?

Many of these lunch ladies are working at minimum wages, with no insurance and have children and families at home which if they come down with the virus are going to have a difficult time taking care of their own family needs.

I am sure food service directors are busy ordering food, making sure their lunches are meeting daily standards and taking applications from parents for children to receive lunches and are out delivering the food to individuals as they drive through to pick up food. They have to be concerned, about contracting the virus as they have husbands and children to take care of.

When they are working, many grandparents are taking care of their children. Since grandparents are elderly, there is concern that those in the food service industry will be bringing the virus home and infecting their family and elderly parents.

Perhaps, the president and the National School Lunch Program needs to review this program and suspend operations at this time. If not, these lunch ladies should be given pay raises and provided with health insurance to cover medical expenses and childcare options.

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