As farmers around North Central Washington and the Columbia Basin prepare their fields for this year's growing season, local law enforcement agencies are reminding drivers about the increased presence of farm equipment and implements traveling on county roads and state highways.

Grant County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kyle Foreman says his agency has been seeing an annual uptick in the number of accidents involving farm implements.

"We do have several collisions every year which involve vehicles and farm implements on our local roadways. Most of it's due to people being impatient because most large farm equipment travels at speeds of less than 25 miles per hour, so people get anxious and try to pass the equipment and aren't always safe when doing so."

Foreman adds there are always multiple hazards present when attempting to pass farm implements.

"We just want to remind people not to try and pass farm equipment at high speed. You certainly always put yourself at risk when passing farm equipment because you could be involved in a head-on collision or clip the farm implement that you're trying to pass and cause it or your own vehicle to lose control. So have patience, take your time, and allot for extra time when traveling in areas where farm equipment may be present this time of year."

Other things to remember when encountering farm implements on the road are being alert for hand signals from the operator and watching for amber flashing lights and orange triangular slow-moving-vehicle signs which are only legally allowed on vehicles with a top speed of 25 mph or less.

Foreman also says farm implements can have parts projecting outward that are difficult to spot until making a pass and that large tractors and other machinery does not have the same ability to maneuver the road as standard passenger vehicles do.

The reminders from the Grant County Sheriff's Office come in the wake of  an injury accident involving a tractor and another vehicle car near Quincy on Monday.

The collision occurred around noon at the intersection of  Adams Road and Road 5 just south of State Route 28.

Deputies say a vehicle attempted to pass the tractor in the intersection as it was making a left turn and the vehicle went off the roadway and crashed.

The driver of the vehicle suffered minor injuries and was cited for making an unsafe pass.

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