Amish group in Ohio try simple changes to make buggies better seen


Two Amish buggies and a car crashed in Wayne Township in January. (Photo courtesy: Andrew Shetler)

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CONGRESS, Ohio— Members of an especially conservative Amish group in northeast Ohio are adding more reflective features to their black, horse-drawn buggies to increase visibility after some serious crashes.

About 300 Swartzentruber Amish families live in Ashland, Medina and Wayne counties. Buggy crashes in that region killed three people and hurt 17 between January and March.

Less conservative Amish mark slow-moving buggies with colored triangles and reflectors. But group member Harvey Stutzman says Swartzentruber Amish live modestly and resisted those measures, considering them too flashy.

Instead, they had used only gray reflective tape and kerosene lanterns hung on buggies. Now they're adding white rectangles outlined in reflective tape on the back. They'll also have plastic pipe covered in reflective tape stick out slightly from the wheels.

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