Amish Buggies A Highway Danger

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The roads and highways can be a dangerous place for drivers, but for
That's why Wisconsin sheriffs and police departments are asking you to be cautious and aware of the Amish on the road.

They say with more than 10 thousand Amish residents in the state of Wisconsin its not rare to see a horse and buggy on the highway. That's especially true in rural areas like Augusta, where many Amish live.

Sergeant Gordon O'Brien with the Augusta police department says while those buggies don't present a problem during the day, the trouble comes at night.

"The nighttime is where it gets to be an issue because obviously you know when you're driving its tough enough to see other vehicles let alone a black horse, a black buggy, there's no lights on them, there's supposed to be lights, but their lights usually consist of a little white light in the front and a little red light in the back," O'Brien said.

Gordon says if you come up on a buggy you should always slow down, wait for an appropriate area to pass and give yourself plenty of following distance..

He says a horse-drawn buggy typically travels between five and eight miles an hour and even slower when pulling large farm equipment.

Still, sheriff Ron Cramer says in our area complaints about buggies are rare.

"A lot of times they do things like tying the horses up to the roads so their used to the loud noise of trucks or semis coming by so the horse doesn't get startled and run across the lanes of traffic," he said.

Cramer says the Amish community is well aware of the hazards on the road and has always been willing to work with the sheriffs department to make sure local roads stay safe.

He says most buggies have a window in the back they use to view traffic and will move to the side, to let cars pass.

Still, Cramer says even if you are following a slow moving buggy, you must wait for a passing zone. He says rural, hilly areas can be extremely dangerous for both cars and buggies.