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Amish Buggy Drivers Face Jail Time for Ignoring Traffic Laws

amish buggy

A judge in Kentucky is starting to send Amish buggy drivers to jail for refusing to mark their buggies with reflective orange triangles.

Slow moving vehicles driving on public roads in Kentucky are required to mark themselves with a reflective orange sign. The amish community in Kentucky says that the signs conflict with their pledge to live a simple life.

The judge, however, says that their refusal to use the signs is causing a danger on the roads.

The Amish buggy drivers have been given fines for their traffic infractions but so far they have refused to pay them. Now Graves County District Judge Deborah Crooks is starting to hand out prison sentences.

This morning Ananias Byler was sentenced to 10 days in jail for refusing to pay the fines.

Jacob Gingerich, an Amish farmer, told the Associated Press that the Amish community will not pay the fines and they will not place the orange reflective signs on their buggies, even if it means jail time. ABC reports that there are 7 men in court today that will likely face similar 10 day prison sentences.

Kentucky lawmakers are currently considering legislation that would exempt Amish buggies from the traffic rule. One solution would have Amish drivers use silver reflective tape instead of the bright orange signs.

What do you think about the Amish buggy controversy?

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4 Responses to “Amish Buggy Drivers Face Jail Time for Ignoring Traffic Laws”

  1. Jim Mason

    OMG that's just being defiant, even the Amish in Pennsylvania use the orange slow moving signs on their buggies, if they don't like the modern version of the sign, just paint it on with reflective paint, back roads and black buggies, tragedy is looming.

  2. Anonymous

    Up front, I'll say I'm English and don't even know anyone who is Amish. I simply believe in the rights of people and those who started coming to the New World in the 1600s.

    I'm glad to hear the lawmakers are finally looking to correct the mistake of the past. I"m not sure who is a little short on being right, but I suspect it is a regulator or regulators.

    In the meantime, I hope a KY lawyer will help them appeal the judge's rulings based upon the First Amendment, as the law seems unnecessarily restrictive. Clearly safety is important, BUT, orange is NOT the only bright color the state could require or have people use. This is the difference between a constitutional and unconstitutional law. A constitutional law would be that takes the rights of the people into consideration and an unconstitutional one dictates one solution without regards to the U.S. Constitution.

    Basically, this is a First Amendment issue and the courts should come down in favor of the Amish and not the law. Yes, the Judge is completely correct about the safety issue, but he's forgetting the rights of people come before safety, when there are ways to meet the safety and protect the rights of our citizens. It is the responsibility of our government and elected officials to protect the rights and privileges of all of our citizens, especially those who can't or won't (for various reasons) speak up for themselves.

  3. Walt Hyde

    I'm from Iowa and the Amish & Mennenite people have Orange Triangular signs on the back of their buggies, I think the people in Kentucky should do the same thing!

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