WKU Public Radio News Staff
Mon February 20, 2012
Warren County Lawmaker Helps Craft Compromise on Amish Buggy Signs
A bill allowing Amish buggy drivers in Kentucky to use reflective tape instead of a state-mandated orange triangle is only a few steps away from becoming law.
The state Senate passed a bill addressing the issue weeks ago. And a House committee passed its own version last week.
There are a few differences in each chamber’s bill. The House wants 200 inches of white, two-inch-wide tape on the back of each buggy. The Senate version mandates 100 inches of red or white one-inch-wide tape.
Despite those differences, House co-sponsor Jim DeCesare says there won’t be a need for compromise.
“I don’t even know that it would need to go to conference committee. I think you know either the House or the Senate could take one or the other bills and work with it without going that far," he says.
DeCesare says both bills give an alternative to Amish drivers who won't use the triangles on religious grounds.
“I think it’s got a good shot at getting through both chambers, I think it’s, the bill’s fine. I don’t know what all the controversy’s about with the legislation because, all it does is simply offer an alternative to use of the red triangle with some reflective tape,” DeCesare says
The issue arose after several Amish men in Western Kentucky were sent to jail for not displaying reflective triangles on their vehicles.
The men say the triangles violate their religious beliefs. But they say they will use the reflective tape if allowed.