The speed limit for farm machinery rises from 25 mph to 35 mph

Frustrated driving behind a big tractor slogging along at 25 mph? Sometimes farmers may need to drive that slowly. But when weather, the machinery or the haul doesn’t require it, farmers can now rev it up to 35 mph.

State. Sen. Pam Helming R-Canandaigua, announced that legislation she sponsored to increase the speed has been signed into law. The legislation (S.6746) does not change the requirement that a slow-moving vehicle emblem be displayed on all farm machinery, whether self-propelled or towed, Helming stated. But this update of the Vehicle and Traffic Law allows farmers to drive their equipment at 35 mph instead of the current 25 mph limit.

The legislation has been a priority for New York Farm Bureau, stated Helming. “Increasing the speed at which farm machinery can operate on roadways improves the overall safety of farmers and motorists,” she added.

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher, quoted in the release, stated that NYFB appreciates Helming’s sponsorship of the bill “and her support of the hard working farm families in her district and around the state.”

Helming stated that “as technologies change, we must update our regulations to reflect those improvements and this is a perfect example of a commonsense regulatory fix. Working together, we can continue to push for legislation that improves public safety and supports the continued success of local farms.”

Previously, state law required the slow-moving emblem to be displayed on agricultural equipment designed to operate at 25 mph or less when traveling on public highways. However, many modern tractors and other agricultural equipment are designed to travel at speeds above 25 mph and sometimes even greater than 35 mph.

Helming added that the change is expected to make it easier for farmers to travel from field to field while also taking advantage of modern upgrades to their machinery.

“It is also an important reminder that safety remains a priority on farms. We encourage the public to not only heed the warning of the slow moving vehicle emblem, but recognize the need to be careful when approaching and passing farm vehicles on rural roads,” stated Helming.