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Slow moving vehicle

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Title: Slow moving vehicle  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Traffic law, Warning (traffic stop), 'How's my driving?' sign, Driving licence in Finland, Road Users' Code
Collection: Road Safety, Road Transport
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Slow moving vehicle

A slow moving vehicle (or SMV) is a vehicle or caravan of vehicles operated on a street or highway at speeds slower than that of other motorized traffic.

The term "slow moving vehicle" is generally applied to equipment and vehicles such as farm equipment (including tractors), construction equipment, trucks towing trailers, or any such vehicles which cannot operate above a specified speed.[1]

It does not include vehicles normally known to be unlikely to be operated at that speed or incapable of reaching that speed, such as bicycles, mopeds and disabled vehicles being towed.[2]


In the United States and Canada an individual vehicle, a vehicle which is being towed, or caravans of vehicles, which are unable to reach a maximum speed of 40 kilometres an hour(25 miles per hour) are required by law to display a special reflective emblem sign at the rear of the vehicle or vehicles, or on the rear vehicle in the caravan.

The sign appears essentially as the image on the right, as a "cut" triangle consisting of a triangle with the corners cut off in red, as a border surrounding an orange uncut triangle in the center, with the edge separating the orange and red being black or white. The United States Department of Transportation as well as the various Canadian provinces, have established regulations that dictate the minimum required size of the sign, and grant exemptions for displaying the sign for certain religious groups having an objection to displaying a sign, which are operating horse-drawn carriages or wagons on public highways, provided they use an alternative reflective marking on the rear of the wagon or carriage. Vehicles which are merely crossing a road, such as a tractor going from one field directly to another at a 90 degree angle from the road, are not required to display the sign.

The sign must not be displayed so it is visible to a road from an object which is not a vehicle (like a mailbox, billboard, or structure) and vehicles not on a public road must remove or hide the sign if it can be seen from the road.

In the United States, the sign is typically available from hardware and vehicle supply stores for about US$20.


Different signs are used in Europe:


  1. ^ New York state's website, (accessed September 14, 2012) states what types of vehicles are required to display this emblem, "Farm machinery and implements of husbandry and other machinery including road construction and maintenance machinery designed to operate at twenty-five miles per hour or less, traveling on a public highway."
  2. ^ Canadian Province of Ontario website on slow moving vehicles (accessed September 14, 2012)

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