The Wood County Traffic Safety Commission heard discussion on Wednesday regarding the Amish population’s compliance with the recently passed Act 228.
County Emergency Manager Steve Kreuser says his office and the Sheriff’s office have had ongoing discussions with their Amish communities, and many have come into compliance without much coaxing. “Prior to Act 228, they were installing the amber lights [on their buggies]. They are currently putting two amber lights on the back and two on the front. In talking with them, they can be seen for over a half-mile now. It’s obviously helped out tremendously.”
Act 228 went into effect on April 3rd and calls for all buggies operating on public roadways at night or in inclement weather to have a front-facing white light (headlight) and two rear-facing amber strobe lights. It also calls for red lights to be mounted in a way that shows the width of the vehicle.
Kreuser says in his conversations with the Amish they have found the lights make them feel safer on the roadways. “It’s quite visible now, for more than a half mile. Especially if it’s a foggy day they feel safer with the lights on as well.”
In addition to raising awareness for the new regulations Kreuser says his staff and the Sheriff’s staff have been active in going to Amish classrooms to teach the rules of the road. In those discussions they’ve made it clear that the buggies need to be lit when it’s hazy or raining as well as during night hours. “We’re going to continue to work with the Amish, going to the schools and teaching the rules of the road. They’ve been very receptive of us,” he added.