Iowa’s governor and lieutenant governor are urging drivers on Iowa roads to be on the look-out because it’s planting season.
“This means an increase in slow-moving vehicles and farm machinery on the roads,” Branstad said this morning at his weekly news conference. “And these vehicles are out not only from sunrise to sunset, but oftentimes after dark on our country roads which can be narrow and hilly and that can make passing very difficult.”
In 2016, there were 199 accidents in Iowa involving farm vehicles. So far this year, there have been 27 crashes and one person was killed when a pick-up crashed into a tractor. That wreck has been in the national news. Chris Soules, a recent star on ABC’s “The Bachelor” reality TV series, has been charged with felony hit and run for the accident that killed a neighboring farmer.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds said neither she nor Branstad are commenting on the case.
Reynolds is urging Iowans to take care while driving in construction zones.
“Ninety-four percent of crashes are due to human behavior and that means there is a huge opportunity to change those statistics,” Reynolds said. “Many of the safety tips for driving around farm machinery translate here, too. Avoid distractions. Leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you and slow down. After all, fines in work zones are doubled.”
During the 2017 construction season, there will be about 500 work zones on state-maintained interstates and highways, plus hundreds more on county roads.