In the last five years, there have sadly been a few major crashes between motor cars, and horse drawn buggies. One accident even sent four kids to the hospital, and a horse died. Up to this point, there didn't seem to be many laws on the books really targeted at trying to make horse drawn buggies safer to drive at night.

But now, the state has worked in coordination with lots of folks, including Maine's Amish community, to strike an appropriate balance. And thankfully, that is now ready to go in place, now that Gov. Mills signed LD 198 into law this past Thursday.

Buggies will now have to have white reflective tape to outline the frame of the vehicle, an electric lantern or oil lamp on the left side facing traffic, as well as a red light toward thew rear of vehicle, and a white light toward the front, according to

These changes will now bring Mainers up to code with federal regulations. And let's face it, the folks driving the buggies will be much safer too. Think about it, if you're in a regular car, going 40-45 mph, and come up suddenly on a buggy traveling 8-10 mph, that doesn't leave a lot of time to react. But if you're coming up a road, and see lights and reflectors in the distance, it will get your attention.

It's sad to see this have to happen in some ways. The Amish folks especially, try to lead a simple life without all the influence of modern technology. And in this day and age, it must get harder all the time to maintain that way of life. On the other hand, if these simple steps prevent more accidents, it can't be all bad.

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