Superior Court Sides With Amish In Reflective-Triangle Dispute
Oct. 21, 2003
ReligionNewsBlog.com • Tuesday October 21, 2003
Sect Disapproved Of Orange-Colored Signs
The Pennsylvania Superior Court says a conservative Amish sect doesn’t have to use orange triangles on its buggies.
The Swartzentruber Amish, a small Cambria County sect who moved from Ohio a few years ago, are more strict than most and say the symbol — which the state requires on all slow-moving vehicles — is too gaudy and an affront to their beliefs.
They appealed in March, asking the court to throw out convictions in more than 20 cases in which their members were ticketed by police for not using the triangles.
The group prefers to use a gray reflective tape because its appearance is more in keeping with their beliefs — and the court agreed — by a 2-to-1 margin.
Citing the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions, two judges say the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation didn’t prove that making the Swartzentruber Amish use the triangles was the least-restrictive means of safeguarding the buggies.
The judge who dissented said it was clear that the triangles were the best alternative since they can be seen more easily during the day — when most buggy accidents happen.
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