Ohio Buggies New Law: Flashing Amber Strobe Lights–an advancement comparable to the Tri-Color Triangle–required as of 8-22. Internal dissent revealed among conservatives… in a good way
June, 2022. In a Safety/Visibility Advance that is intended to bring some Amish kicking and screaming (at least a percentage of them) into the 21st century and OFF the sides of the roads as statistics, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed a bill requiring Amish buggies and other animal-drawn vehicles to display a yellow flashing light while driving on public streets. House Bill 30 is intended to reduce the crashes between Amish buggies and modern vehicles. The effective date of this law is August 31, 2022.
As reported by amishamerica.com and cleveland.com, the Ohio Amish now stand poised to lead the rest of the country by stepping up their road safety practices thru the display of bright amber strobe lights (LEDs or true strobes) on the tops of their buggy roofs by night and also during the day. I personally have seen such strobes in use there a couple of years back in the daytime and they CAN be effective… IF the units sold are strong, bright ones and not the mediocre dimmer ones that are lame by comparison (and I saw both). The strong ones undoubtedly are more expensive and draw down the batteries quicker, so a built-in problem will be with those people who buy the cheaper, dimmer ones that do have longer battery life… being satisfied that they are keeping within the letter of the law (though at the expense of substantially lessened visibility).
The better lights will help for sure, just at our Tri-Color Triangle(TM) helps; both being much more eye catching by day, dusk and night… bright safety items that stand out in ways for safety ends that unfortunately are at odds with the Plain Peoples’ desires to be unobtrusive and under the radar… though each item dramatically serving to lessen the likelihood of being hit in traffic.
Quoting from amishamerica, “How does this stand to affect the state’s plainest Amish groups, primarily the Swartzentrubers? Requiring a flashing light mounted on top of a vehicle did not seem to (the author) to be something acceptable to those plainest Amish”… people that refuse to use even a conventional triangle (SMV emblem) or use regular battery-powered flashing buggy lights (they run dim kerosene lanterns instead).
What is heartening, though, is the undercurrent of welling sentiment among some of the Swartzentrubers to break loose of their historical reluctance to safety advances–that of course serve their own interests (plus those of the public at large)–as evidenced in some of the Amish letters of support for the law while it was in consideration, including ones from this sub-group.