Amish Men Jailed Over Buggy Ruckus

They were fined over lack of safety sign, refused to pay
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2011 11:26 AM CDT
Updated Sep 17, 2011 11:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – Eight Amish men in Kentucky have begun serving time in jail—all over a bright orange triangle. The men were issued fines over their failure to display a safety sign on the backs of their horse-drawn buggies, but refused to pay, along with associated court fees. They explained that forking over the $148 to more than $600 owed would mean adhering to a law that they consider a violation of religious tenets: to not wear bright colors, and to not trust manmade signs for their safety. They got sentences this week ranging from three to 10 days.

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The Courier-Journal notes that the men are willing to use gray reflective tape and lanterns as safety signals, but the courts deemed those methods insufficient in the daytime. The men don't have to wear bright-orange jumpsuits in the local jail; dark-colored ones were ordered. The judge noted that the cases have been languishing for three years, and aren't particularly unique: As of early this week, she had 44 cases citing the same charge on her docket. (Read more Amish stories.)

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