Towns To State: Make Amish Buggy Markings Mandatory

Towns To State: Make Amish Buggy Markings Mandatory

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After repeated accidents involving Amish buggies, north country towns are stepping into the fray over better markings for those buggies. It's a call on the state to make the markings mandatory.

A resolution in the hands of town supervisors urges it become a state requirement.

“We want to protect both the Amish and our own citizens," John Frary, Town of DeKalb supervisor, told 7 News Monday.

 In the past, the issue has been left up to the county. They've forged agreements with the Amish. Sometimes they've been adhered to but sometimes not, officials say.

Now, the Canton town board is among the towns considering the resolution handed out to supervisors by Frary.

“We were almost there the last time. It wasn't an animosity thing. It's just one of those things that needs to be worked on over time," Frary said.

Frary's resolution is not seeking another voluntary agreement. Instead, the resolution urges the state to change motor vehicle regulations so slow-moving buggies have to be marked the same as others.

What's driving the call for more and better markings on Amish buggies? Fear of more accidents. 7 News reporter Keith Benman recalled an accident he covered: “The Amish buggy was shattered and in pieces about 150 feet up the road that way. And a picnic cooler and some tools from the buggy were down the road about 100 feet all scattered along the shoulder. That's how hard the impact was.”

In past negotiations, some Amish have objected to certain markings as a violation of their religious beliefs. 

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