Amish required to use slow-moving signs


Courtesy of blondieb38

The Amish are known for living a very simplistic life, dressing plainly, and remaining reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology such as automobiles.

As time passes, the Amish have felt significant amounts of  pressures from the modern world. As we continue to advance our technology and develop innovations, the Amish way of life in general has increasingly fallen behind.

If you’re from the North Country or a recent resident of the community like myself, you have encountered an Amish buggy on the roadways.

The buggy is essential to Amish society as both their main form of transportation, and a symbol of their people. Amish believe the horse-drawn carriage promotes a slower pace of life and greater reliance on community. The horse-drawn carriage is a key part of Amish identity. Amish buggies come in a variety of designs based on their specific communities and group to which they belong to.

The growing Amish Community within St. Lawrence County has drawn a large amount of attention and raised many questions on if they should be required to display triangular slow-moving signs on their buggies. Last Monday, St.Lawrence County legislators committee voted 13-2 requesting state Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Barbara J. Fiala to require the Amish to install slow-moving vehicles emblems on “all means of transportation used on public roads and highways.”

“As Amish communities spread across the geographic areas of St. Lawrence County, combined with frequent travel, there has been an increase in the number of automobile and Amish buggy accidents, as well as a number of unreported near misses,” the resolution states.

Unfortunately, the more conservative Amish population such as the members of the Heuvelton area refuse to use the emblems. They believe forcing them to use the signs violates their religious freedom as the orange color, are considered too flashy.

According to County Sheriff Kevin M. Wells, the Amish were exempted from slow-moving vehicle requirement by the state DMV several years ago.

Contrary to the that, a member of the Kendrew Grange, Mark Matthews believes it’s time to revisit the issue as the Amish population in St. Lawrence has grown rapidly.

“The Amish population has multiplied by 10 and they’re not just in two communities. They are all over the county. I see more and more room for accidents,” he said.

Rick Perkins, a legislator, said he supported having the state police enforce the measure.

“The state police has become a revenue-generating entity. I think they’d jump on it,” he said.

Mr. Matthews said he plans to circulate a petition among county residents regarding the issue.