ASHLAND, Ohio (WJW) — Several members of the Ohio Amish community were back in court Thursday, holding to their refusal to comply with a new state law requiring flashing yellow lights on their buggies.
Each of the men who appeared in Ashland Municipal Court on Thursday told a judge they would rather go to jail or do community service than pay the fines.
“I believe I would rather — due to religious reasons — just take the consequences,” one man told the judge.
Another group of Amish people appeared in court last fall, saying the law violates their traditional belief in leading simple lives.
Each is due back in court in April. They’ll be able to knock $50 off their fines for each day served in jail.
The law is intended to reduce the number of buggy crashes across the state.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports there have been 685 buggy-related crashes statewide since 2018 — far more than any other circumstance the patrol accounts for — and of those, 17 were fatal. There were 68 such crashes in Ashland County; 135 in neighboring Wayne County; 78 in Holmes County to the southeast; and 39 in Knox County to the south.