Slow-moving vehicles are subject to a unique speed limit

Melanie ConsCanadian Farm News

By Kaitlynn Anderson
Staff Writer

Farmers may often drive their tractors on roads that hold varying speed limits, such as in 70 km/h or 90 km/h zones. However, operators of farm equipment must abide by different rules of the road than regular traffic.

The Highway Traffic Act requires slow-moving vehicle (SMV) signs on all vehicles that cannot reach speeds above 40 km/h. Vehicles that bear these signs are subject to a unique speed limit of 40 km/h while operating on a roadway.

The provincial government grouped tractors in this category.

So, operators must display SMV signs on their tractors and self-propelled farm machinery, even if their equipment is capable of travelling at a higher speed, Bob Nichols, senior media liaison officer with the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) told today.

People must place these signs on their equipment at a distance between 0.5 to 2 metres above the road, the Highway Traffic Act states. Other drivers must be able to see the symbol from at least 150 metres away.

Tractor drivers must also abide by this speed limit, even if they travel in zones with higher limits posted. Otherwise, these individuals could face penalties.

“A fine between $60 and $1,000 may be imposed under the Highway Traffic Act if the tractor is travelling greater than 40 km/h,” Nichols said.

For more information on operating farm equipment on roadways, check out this guide from the MTO and this fact sheet from the OFA.