State officials making people aware of traffic law - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State officials making people aware of traffic law

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -

Fall is here and that means drivers will be seeing a lot more farm equipment on country roads.

According to state law, it's legal for cars to pass that equipment, any time.

"It was enacted so that slow moving vehicles that are causing backups in traffic, it allows motorists to pass these vehicles in a no-passing zone," said Wisconsin State Patrol Sgt. Rhae Stertz.

The law went into effect last November and it allows drivers to pass other vehicles, including farm equipment, on rural roads in the state.

But authorities said not many people know this law even exists.

"I had no idea," said Town of Maine farmer Steve Zahn.

Wisconsin State Patrol officers said the law is only meant for certain situations and drivers need to be smart.

"Is there oncoming traffic, can you see far enough ahead to pass this vehicle safely, is this vehicle traveling less than half the speed limit in that area," said Sgt. Stertz.

But some people said that can be difficult because every stretch of road is different.

"I think it's trouble waiting to happen," said Zahn.

Sherrill Baumann lives in the Town of Stettin and she said the change makes her nervous.

"Scares the heck out of me," said Baumann.

As some farmers start their harvests, they say they'll be avoiding the roads altogether.

"We stuck a lot of money into field roads so we can go through our property versus going on the public roads," said Zahn.

But if those tractors are on rural roads, and you want to pass, it's legal.

Wisconsin State Patrol officers said just be safe while doing so.

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