SMV Celebrates 50 Years

Aug. 8, 2013

The Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem celebrates its 50th Anniversary!  This emblem, recognized for safety around the U.S., was developed in the Agricultural Engineering Department at The Ohio State University in the early 60's. In 1963 this emblem was dedicated to the public by the OSU President Novice G. Fawcett. Testing was conducted by Ken Harkness, an OSU Ag Engineer, and his team of graduate students to determine the best shape and color for this roadway safety symbol. A 1/16 scale highway simulator was constructed to test human recognition rates of slow moving vehicles with most of the testing conducted outside of the Ives Hall Building (no longer standing on OSU campus).

The first formal introduction of the SMV emblem was at a safety seminar in 1962, where Deere and Company took interest in the design and became an avid promoter. The emblem was adopted by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE) and in less than 2 years became part of many states' roadway legislation. In 1971 the SMV emblem became the first ASAE Standard to be adopted as a national standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

It is with great pride that Ohio can boast the development of this emblem by OSU faculty and students. For 50 years, this emblem has been behind agricultural equipment and horse-drawn vehicles warning the motoring public of a Slow Moving Vehicle!

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