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Mon January 16, 2012
Ken Winters Proposes Amish Buggy Compromise
By Gary Pitts
Graves County, KY – Kentucky's 1st District State Senator Ken Winters is proposing a bill to address the controversy surrounding slow-moving vehicle laws and Amish horse-drawn buggies. The current law requires buggies to display a reflective orange triangle on the back, which some conservative Amish say offends their religious beliefs. Winters says his bill, S.B. 75, not only accommodates religious beliefs, but also increases the visibility of the buggies. One part of the bill requires identification of the left from the right side of the buggy.
"The lanterns that are mounted on either side of it. The left hand lantern on the side of the buggy is mounted one-foot higher than the one on the right side. And the purpose of that is to allow you, if you're approaching and you see that one of those lights is higher than the other one and you know it's the left side, so you know they're in the correct lane and would pass on the high side of the lantern."
Winters says his bill would require reflective tape on the back, both sides, and the front of the buggy, increasing visibility from all sides.
"So we're talking about roughly 200 square inches of tape outlining and identifying the bulk of that buggy from any direction that you might be coming."
He says he has spoken with Amish leaders who say they find the compromise acceptable. The bill is set to be heard by the Senate Transportation Committee this week.