A good reason to slow down

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2015

There’s no doubt that some drivers don’t particularly enjoy sharing the road with vehicles that move slower than the speed limit. Most times, a person travelling on the highways and byways has allotted a certain amount of time to get from Point A to Point B and any slowdown is perceived as a problem. And for impatient drivers, it can be perceived as an extremely frustrating problem.

This time of year is all about agriculture — getting fields plowed and planted. As a result, there is a lot of very large farm equipment out on the roads. Those vehicles can’t travel as fast as regular traffic. In fact, they move quite slowly, often causing back ups, which can lead impatient drivers, anxious to get to their destinations, to drive in dangerous ways.

Some might argue that those vehicles shouldn’t be on the roads at all. Those people would be wrong.

Who are those people driving the tractors and farm equipment?

Farmers, of course, and their employees. Most farmers don’t have fields in one place —often they are scattered about a certain area. In order to plow and plant all their fields, farmers obviously have to get their equipment from one place to another, which means they need to drive the roads that everyone else uses while on the way to school, to work, to run errands and make appointments.

Farming is a tradition as old, or older, than the three centuries Beaufort County has been in existence. It remains one of Beaufort County’s driving economic engines to this day. Soybeans, cotton, grain, tobacco, corn — those crops are as much a part of this county as the soil itself. And the farmers that grow them.

Keeping one’s patience and ceding space on the road, slowing down and keeping plenty of distance, watching for turn/hand signals and passing only where ample time and space allow are simple ways that drivers can show respect for their local farmers. Keep in mind that every destination will eventually be reached. Keep in mind that the work done by that piece of farm equipment and the person operating it is an integral part of eastern North Carolina culture and something that all can take pride in.