In a huge legal victory for the Amish in Kentucky, a bill was passed yesterday that will keep the state from forcing its Amish citizens to put bright orange triangle decals on the bumpers of their buggies.
The state wanted to have the orange triangles placed on all Amish buggies because they’re required for all slow moving vehicles as a matter of traffic safety.
It’s been a hot topic in Kentucky for quite some time, with several Amish farmers having gone to jail over their adamant refusal to display the decals.
Kentucky’s government maintains that traffic safety is compromised by the low visibility of the slow-moving Amish buggies. In November, an accident between a buggy and an SUV killed the buggy’s driver. Just months before, a truck rear-ended a buggy killing a child.
Still, the Amish didn’t want to display the decals because they were shaped like a triangle. In Amish culture, a triangle is the symbol of the Holy Trinity and is not allowed to be displayed.
Although the Amish buggies won’t be required to display the orange reflectors, other safety measures will be enforced. The Amish buggy bill requires the Amish community to put silver or white reflective tape on all of their buggies.
Tests have proven that the reflective tape makes the buggies visible up to 1,000 feet away.
The State Senate passed the bill, 75-21. The bill will now make its way to Governor Steve Beshear and, as soon as he signs off on it, the bill will take effect.
Many Kentucky residents support the new Amish buggy bill, even those outside the Amish community.
Mica Sims, a Tea Party activist who isn’t Amish, said, “It’s important to me because, I’m not Amish, but one day the government could attack my beliefs, and I would want the Amish to stick up for me.”
Sen. Ken Winters said he considered the final passage of the Amish buggy bill a victory for religious liberty.
“We’ve been able to accommodate a major issue in their lives,” said Winters, a retired Baptist college president who represents a growing Amish community in his western Kentucky district.
More in the video below.
- Amish buggy legislation wins final passage in Ky. (kansascity.com)
- Some Amish upset over buggy safety triangles (autoblog.com)
- Amish buggies exempt from orange stickers under new Kentucky law (mercurynews.com)