In a big legal win for the Amish of Kentucky, a bill was passed Tuesday that will keep the state from forcing its Amish population to put bright orange triangle decals on the bumper of their buggies. The state wanted the Amish buggies to don the triangle decals because they require all slow moving vehicles to display them for traffic safety.
While the issue may seem trivial to some, it certainly was not trivial to Kentucky's Amish population. The Associated Press reports that several Amish farmers have gone to jail over their staunch refusal to display the decals.
The issue is also not trivial to Kentucky's government as road safety is compromised by low visibility of the slow moving buggies. In November, an accident between an SUV and a buggy killed the buggy's driver. Just months before that accident, a truck rear-ended a buggy killing a child, according to the Associated Press.
Despite the safety hazard, the Amish did not want to display the decals because they were in the shape of a triangle. In Amish culture a triangle is the symbol of the Holy Trinity, and is not permitted to be displayed.
Although the Amish buggies will not be required to display the orange triangle reflectors, other safety measures will be enforced. The bill requires the Amish community to put silver or white reflective tape on their buggies.
The State Senate passed the bill by a rather large margin, 75-21, according to Courier-Journal.com. The bill will now make its way to Gov. Steve Beshear. As soon as he signs off, the bill will go into effect.
Many Kentucky residents have shown support for the bill, including those outside the Amish community.
Mica Sims, a Tea Party activist who is not Amish, spoke to The Associated Press about his support of the bill.
"It's important to me because, I'm not Amish, but one day the government could attack my beliefs, and I would want the Amish to stick up for me."