Writer: Carnage on roadways involving Amish needs to stop
I am now simmered down enough to try to express my opinion about the Amish issue regarding the Wood County Board and the people that apparently control them.
As I was heading east of Osseo on Highway 10 with family members this evening (Jan. 3, 2018), in the distance a large number of emergency vehicle lights were visible. I told my brother, "I hope it's not another Amish accident." It was.
At the time I didn't know if anyone was killed but the mangled mess of what minutes before had been a horse pulling a buggy was an ugly sight. The semi that rear-ended the buggy was stopped dead in its lane of the road, directly behind the wreckage. We later discovered the 26 year old driver (Moses Petersheim) of the buggy had died along with his horse.
So what are the consequences of an accident such as this? For one thing, it hurts the Amish community in that they are very close-knit and dependent on one another. Also, it is very hard on their immediate families. Amish women who are not supposed to show emotion have been witnessed crying. Yes, they actually do have feelings.
Others affected are the police and safety workers who have to go to the scene and administer traffic control and clean up. They have to put themselves in harm's way to reopen the road to normal traffic flow.
Then what about the truck driver? What were his thoughts when out of the blackness a buggy emerges, so close that there is not even time to perform an evasive maneuver. What will this do to his career? Who knows what effect this accident will have on his psyche.
And for you dollars and cents type of people, there will be medical, repair, legal, emergency worker and clean up costs.
I live among the Amish and can personally state that I consider my Amish neighbors as my friends. That being said, however, does not mean that I agree with everything they do, or rather do not do. There is a point at which boundaries between one person's religion and the rights of other people living in our 21st century culture collide.
I do not know how many of the Amish are aware of the imposition that they are making on others when they bring their non-illuminated means of mobility onto the public roadways. I am not a fan of over-regulation but I think if they would follow general rules similar to those of the farmers' "Implements of Husbandry" it would benefit everyone. Flashing warning lights (nothing less), trained horses, no children under the age of 12 driving teams of horses on the road would not be asking too much.
Until the visionaries elected to the county boards and state governments stop sitting on their hands, remove their blinders and start thinking for themselves as individuals rather than listening to the blather coming from pompous, misguided do-gooders, they can bear the blame for the ongoing carnage because it is in their power to stop it.