Opinion: St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Club offers safety tips for slow-moving vehicles
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 8:44 am

To the Editor:

At Christmas time last year, a horse-drawn wagon loaded with people on a family outing was struck by a motor vehicle. One of the horses was so badly injured it had to be euthanized but luckily the people suffered only minor injuries.

Some of the wagon riders were members of the St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Club (SLVDHC).

Following the accident, club members had discussions about safety with slow moving vehicles (SMV) on the highway and the proper use of slow moving vehicle signs. Following the discussions, it was suggested that the SLVDHC promote slow moving vehicle safety not just with horses but with motorized vehicles as well.

On February 21st some of the club members attended the New York State Slow Moving Vehicle Symposium held in Syracuse and brought information and ideas back to the club for discussion. A key point obtained at the Syracuse meeting was that the problem stems from a lack of awareness on the part of vehicle drivers about slow moving vehicles.

In April club president, Eric Warner, and secretary, Tom Daly, attended the St. Lawrence County Traffic Safety Board meeting. They presented the ideas proposed by the club to produce and distribute a brochure promoting slow moving vehicle safety. Through the efforts of the secretary a brochure was designed and then printed by a local company. The brochure has been distributed locally on a limited basis.

There has been some interest by horse enthusiasts and organizations such as 4-H groups in obtaining the brochure to use for educational purposes. At the St. Lawrence County Fair the brochures were handed out to some 4-H leaders and also to some farm equipment dealers with displays there. There was also a display at the annual Plow Days event held by the SLVDHC in September.

If anyone is interested in helping distribute the brochures or wants to incorporate them in an educational demonstration, the St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Club can be reached through our Facebook page or our website www.stlawrencevalleydrafthorseclub.com.

Susan Willard

St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Club (SLVDHC)