In a country where the horse has played such an important role, it is surprising to find that most state drivers’ manuals contain little if any information about drivers safely approaching and passing horses or other animals that are under human control or being herded.
Because of the number of collisions and other bad incidents, Ohio is one of several states to increase the safety legislation.
Under a new bill in Ohio, animal-drawn vehicles would be required by law to display a new type of reflective tape that provides a higher visibility, as well as a flashing yellow light on the highest rear part of the buggy, pony cart, or other type of horse-drawn vehicle.
Pennsylvania, Indiana and Wisconsin — states with a significant Amish population — have already passed legislation requiring flashing lights on horse-drawn buggies…
In a recent highway safety study, ODOT and the state patrol identified three major causes of crashes between motor vehicles and Amish horse-drawn buggies:
• Underestimating speed differential, where the driver of a car, truck or SUV doesn’t realize they are traveling faster than the buggy or pony cart they are approaching.
• Visibility: Most Amish buggies are covered in black vinyl, making them virtually impossible to see at night without precautionary safety lighting and reflective tape. Since the study revealed that most crashes involving buggies were rear-end collisions, HB 501 proposes that a flashing yellow light be mounted at the highest possible position at the rear of the buggy.
• Unexpected vehicle actions, which can be made by the motor vehicle or horse-drawn buggy, or both…