Ohio roadway-safety legislation introduced

Ohio roadway-safety legislation introduced

State Reps. Scott Wiggam (R-Wayne County) and Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville) have introduced a bill that requires animal-drawn vehicles to increase their level of visibility to ensure the safety of Ohio’s motorways.

“Many of Ohio’s districts, including our own, are home to rural communities that travel by animal-drawn buggies,” Wiggam said. “As a result these individuals are not as visible as traditional vehicles, and this poses a risk to both parties. This bill aims to increase the safety of citizens who travel by both traditional cars and animal-drawn buggies. This is good legislation that will save both Amish lives and English tears.”

According to statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were over 120 crashes in Ohio involving animal-drawn vehicles in 2019, most notably during hours without daylight. Given the majority of incidents occurred within the sponsors’ districts, Wiggam and Kick decided it was time to address the problem affecting their communities.

Under the new bill, animal-drawn vehicles will be required by law to display a new type of reflective tape that provides a higher visibility, as well as a flashing yellow light on the highest rear part of their buggy, pony cart or other animal-drawn vehicle. Under current law, animal-drawn vehicles are only required to display light on the front and back of their vehicle and have the option to display reflective tape or a “slow-moving vehicle” emblem.

“We’ve looked at this issue for many years and have kept an open dialogue throughout,” Kick said. “After consulting with the Amish, English and law-enforcement communities, we have decided it is time to update our laws. With new technology we can implement changes that are less intrusive to religious freedoms yet promote safety across the board for all Ohioans.”

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