Senator seeks Amish buggy compromise

Graves County, USA - A conflict between religion and law ended in jail time for members of a local Amish community.

Now, Kentucky State Senator Ken Winters is stepping in to work toward a solution.

Eight Amish men spent as long as 10 days in the Graves County Jail after refusing pay fines associated with not displaying orange safety triangles on their buggies.

Certain sects of local Amish communities say following the law would violate their religious beliefs.

Winters said a safe compromise could be as simple as a little research.

"We certainly don't want to do anything that would put anyone in danger, whether it's Amish families or someone on the road with them."

At issue is an reflective orange triangle. The law says it has to be on all slow moving vehicles.

But some Amish sects refused to attach them, saying the color and shape violates religious beliefs.

Winters said local Amish men and women approached said they support using reflective tape instead. It's something that could help keep the buggies visible day and night.

"We're probably not talking about a great issue for daytime driving but necessary nighttime driving, (you) could worry about," he said. "Reflective tape might be the solution to that problem."

Sheriff Dewayne Redmon said he supports a compromise as long as it keeps everyone safe.

Winters hopes legislation from other states might help Kentucky find a compromise.

As long as it's legal, deputies will enforce it. So, the next challenge is taking it to lawmakers and seeing what happens next.

Winters hopes to have data gathered in the next two or three weeks and to meet with colleagues and committee members next.