The bill, which was introduced by six senators Jan. 4, if passed, would amend state law to allow reflective tape to be placed on slow-moving vehicles as opposed to the orange and red triangle that is currently required. The proposal would also amend current state law to allow for an alternative lighting system for motorless vehicles operated on a highway at night.
Logan County’s Senator Joey Pendleton was one of the six senators to step up trying to change the law. He says he is happy the bill is now on it’s way to the next step and feels very confident it will become law soon.
Although the recent Amish woes in Graves and Logan counties have sparked interest in the bill, Senator Pendleton stands firm that his involvement is not because he is giving special treatment to one group, but in fact feels reflective tape is much more effective than the triangle that is currently required on slow moving vehicles, including Amish buggies.
“I’ve had a few calls from Logan County asking why I’m giving special treatment to the Amish. This is not why I am for this bill. I have realized the tape works much better than the triangle,” said Pendleton who wasn’t for the bill at first, but then came home and looked at his farm equipment and saw that he had reflective tape on all of it.
Pendleton said he was being a hypocrite and took a step back. He also stated that he would not be for anything that would jeopardize the safety of others, but felt the tape was a better solution and that’s why he changed his mind on the bill, eventually getting on board.
Logan County Attorney Joe Ross drew up a motion to postpone a trial date set for five Amish individuals from the Auburn/Simpson County area who are charged with slow moving vehicle violations for not having the red/orange reflective triangle on their buggies. He did this because of the recent legislation.
“Throughout this process we have encouraged the Amish to contact Frankfort if they were unsatisfied with the law that nether the judge nor I can change. I feel it is only fair to allow the time needed to see if this recent action will apply,” said Ross.
Almost a dozen Old Order Amish have been cited in the city of Auburn for not using the triangle. The city decided to enforce the state law requiring the triangle last year.
The old order Amish residing in the community feels it would be against their covenant with God to put the sign on their buggies and believe it to be a worldly symbol. Most have; however, placed the reflective tape on the backside of their buggies and some have placed lanterns on them as well.