Ohio Representatives, Darrell Kick of Loudonville and Scott Wiggam, of Wooster, co-sponsored the law, House Bill 30, requiring horse-drawn buggies to display a flashing light to decrease collisions between Amish buggies and motorized vehicles.
A 2019 Ohio Department of Transportation Statewide Amish Travel Study found there were 723 buggy crashes between 2009 and 2019.
The representatives said in a statement:
I’m convinced this will save Amish lives and English tears. Fatal collisions between an automobile and an animal-drawn vehicle almost always result in the death of the animal-drawn vehicle occupant, not the English driver. We've been working with the Amish community for almost 20 years now doing events like Amish Health and Safety Days. We can tell [the Amish] the recommendations on what we think should be [on buggies]. But unless it’s a law, not everyone’s going to comply. We don’t want to be too intrusive on their religious freedom but it’s time to put safety first.
Ohio has the second-largest Amish population in the United States with an estimated 80,240 Amish, according to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Wisconsin — which rank first, third and fourth in Amish population size respectively — already have passed laws requiring flashing lights on horse-drawn buggies.
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