UPDATE: Wednesday, the Eau Claire County Board voted unanimously to support two bills in the legislature that require more lights on Amish buggies.
Both the Assembly and Senate have bills which would beef up visibility on buggies by requiring all animal-drawn vehicles to use lights when on the highways and a yellow flashing strobe light at night, or in bad weather.
The bills have passed the committee phase and are now awaiting votes to be scheduled.
Eau Claire (WQOW)- Roads and highways across Wisconsin are meant to be shared, but with several accidents this year involving horse-drawn buggies, they're proving dangerous, and even deadly for local Amish communities. Now, some state and local leaders are trying to make these roadways safer.
Two bills are working their way through the state legislation. If passed, they would require all animal-drawn vehicles to use lights when on highways. Right now, one white headlight and two red tail lights are required during hours of darkness. This measure would also require rear flashing yellow or amber strobe lights be used at night, and during inclement weather.
"We want to live the life as best we can together with them, and protecting them on the road is certainly part of that. We hope that this legislation goes through and it's well regarded by all, and that it cuts down on the accident level. Because it's a tough road out there for all of us, and we have to do all that we can to take care of each other's interests," said Carl Anton, member of the Eau Claire County Highway Committee.
On Thursday, the highway committee approved a letter of support for the two bills. Anton also made a recommendation that pushed the bills one step further to require lights at all times. The letter of recommendation will now head to the full board later this month.
Related Link: Buggy driver killed in semi crash near Osseo