Representative discusses buggy safety
Published 11:10 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015
State Rep. Aaron Miller recently conducted a town hall-style forum in Lansing to discuss safety concerns and other issues involving horse-drawn buggies on roads throughout Michigan.
Rep. Miller, R-Sturgis, invited fellow lawmakers, county officials and others interested in seeking solutions for safety and road-damage issues caused by the buggies. About 30 people joined him in the Anderson House Office Building’s Mackinac Room for the forum.
“We had a very productive discussion about the safety concerns surrounding the use of buggies in certain areas throughout Michigan where horse and buggies are common,” Rep. Miller said “Some who attended were concerned about the lack of safety lighting on the buggies, and others were interested in finding out what could be done to prevent damage to local roads by studded horseshoes.”
Some road commission members said they would not have issues with buggies if they were required to be registered by the state, as the registration fees could contribute to road and bridge repair. Law enforcement officials present said some of the younger buggy drivers do not obey traffic laws, but since state law does not address horse-drawn buggies, there is little in terms of enforcement that can be done.
“Although my motivation in holding this meeting has nothing to do with religion or religious freedom, most of the horse-and-buggy drivers around the state are Amish. I have every respect for the Amish and their way of life – my grandmother was raised in an Amish home,” Rep. Miller said. “I think there is a way to work with the Amish, as has been the case in nearby Indiana communities, so hopefully we can one day strike a happy balance.”