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Proper use of SMV emblems

Judging from the number of Slow-Moving Vehicle (SMV) signs popping up on more and more driveways in the Ozarks, it's apparent many people do not understand the real purpose for this emblem.

This identification emblem consists of a fluorescent yellow-orange triangle with a dark, red reflective border. The yellow-orange color is for daylight identification, while the red border is most obvious at night in other vehicle headlights.

The emblem is specifically for use on vehicles and equipment that travel at 25 miles per hour or less on public roadways. Yes, that includes horse-drawn buggies and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) operated on roads for agricultural purposes.

You have a major responsibility for helping motorists avoid accidents with you on roadways. Most new tractors and self-propelled machines come factory-equipped with SMV emblems. But if you need to add one on equipment you now own, follow these guidelines.

Mount the SMV emblem point up at the rear of the vehicle near its centerline, from 2 to 6 feet above the ground (measured to the lower edge of the sign), and within 10 degrees of being perpendicular to the direction of travel. See Figure 1 for a visual explanation.

Figure 1. Slow-Moving-Vehicle emblem placement. 

If you don't want to equip all your tractors and implements with SMV emblems, buy a mounting bracket for each, and transfer one emblem around as needed. The SMV emblem is not a substitute for warning lights and reflectors. They make your equipment more visible. The SMV emblem identifies it as slow-moving. For best effectiveness, keep emblems clean and replace them if worn or faded.

On an ending note, if you see homeowners marking their driveway with SMV signs, leave a note on their mailbox or visit with them in person to explain what the sign is really for and nicely ask them not to confuse the public by misusing the sign for other purposes.