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New legislation would improve safety of Amish

Ohio is home to a substantial number of Amish residents, more than 76,000 of them. All too frequently, we have to report accidents in which motor vehicles have struck horse-draw buggies operated by the Amish.

Ohio already has laws on the books intended to safeguard the Amish, but obviously, they have not been effective enough. A bill pending now in the General Assembly would augment the rules.

Under the proposal, horse-drawn buggies would have to have flashing lights on the highest part of the conveyance, along with a new type of more visible reflective tape.

We understand the importance to our Amish friends of maintaining a certain way of life. But we also know that sharing the road with motor vehicles including semi-tractor trailers, makes improved visibility of the Amish buggies critically important.

One statistic makes the need for new visibility equipment very clear: Since 2014, there have been more than 870 accidents involving horse-drawn buggies or wagons and vehicles, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Legislators should approve the new bill.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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