there are the locals who have been in the area forever. (all the people i work with)
the non-locals who become locals. (me)
the non-locals who leave after college or when their teaching/doctor/engineering gigs run out. (four colleges)
there are locals who leave only to visit once in a while. (hate the cold/poverty)
there are the old order amish, and from what i know they have been living here only about as long me. (they like the cheap land/old farms available)
i grabbed my camera on the drive home to photograph a frequent sight in this part of the county. see how the white car has swerved into the oncoming lane. not legal. see the pickup driver's response? smart.
see the four gray strips on the back of this buggy? they're reflective. and there's a little lantern mount on the left hand side of the back about half way down. a small white light is visible from it at night, when the lantern is lit.
two weeks ago i was driving to work. it was dawn, when i'm on the road, and i know to watch for buggies. apparently the small truck pulled to the side of the road and the totally mangled buggy had made terrible contact sometime before i showed up. the horse was standing off in the grass, the two men were on their feet and talking.
a great fear of mine: that i might hit a buggy some day. i wish i could speak to the amish community elders and convince them to require their congregations to place the slow moving triangle on their vehicles. led lights would be good, similar to what cyclists use. i have good eyes. i can't see a buggy if i'm traveling at 50 mph at dawn until i am almost upon it, the lighting isn't good enough.
this road has a 55 mph speed limit for all but one mile. everyone speeds. a collision with a buggy could be fatal. this inability of local communities to legislate for the good of all, and the failure on the parts of the amish communities to allow/require proper lighting will continue to result in horrific accidents. we can share the roads. we should all be visible. cars should not swerve, they should slow and pass when safe, amish should have proper safety lighting. then, maybe these accidents will diminish.