PENN YAN, N.Y. (AP) - Rising populations of Amish and Mennonite communities in more rural parts of New York state over the past decade have meant an increase in horse-drawn buggies on the roads, and increasing concerns from law enforcement over collisions between the buggies and motorized vehicles.
The New York Times reported that while there’s no separate tracking of buggy accidents as a distinct traffic category, officials say it’s a familiar problem, ranging from accidents where people are hurt to more serious collisions resulting in deaths of the buggy riders and the horses. Nationwide, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recorded 101 fatalities from buggy accidents between 2011 and 2016.
In New York, the Times reported an Amish man was killed in Oswegatchie, New York, close to the Canada border, in November after his buggy was hit. There have been at least six people hurt in collisions between motorized and horse-drawn vehicles since August.
There are about 24,000 Amish and Mennonites in the state, the fifth-largest in the country, with more recent arrivals coming from nearby states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. The communities avoid most technology and aspects of modern life, and use the horse-drawn conveyances to get around.
Safety campaigns have pushed efforts to reduce collisions, with options like battery-operated lights and bright orange signs for slow-moving vehicles.
Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com
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