ASHLAND, Ohio — More than 20 members of the Amish community were in court on Friday in Ashland after refusing to comply with a new state law that makes flashing yellow lights on their horse-drawn buggies mandatory.
Ashland Municipal Judge John Good ordered that they pay fines to avoid jail time.
All 26 members took the stand to contest that they could not and would not pay the fine because it is against their religion. So Judge Good gave them the option of either putting a lien on their properties or performing community service instead.
"Are you going to pay your fines?" Judge Good asked one of the Amish members.
"No, not at this point," was the response.
"Are you ever going to pay them?" Good asked back.
"Not that I know of."
"Could you pay them if you had the income or funds?" Good continued.
"Yup, but I can't pay them for religious reasons."
The fines range from $50 to $150 each, given the number of citations issued for the traffic violation. Some of the Amish community members who appeared in court on Friday have been cited multiple times.
Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP) troopers say some elders and bishops in the Amish community are resentful of the new law and are urging members not to obey it.
According to the OSP, there have been more than 150 crashes across the state since 2021 involving Amish buggies. The majority of those accidents happened during the nighttime hours, when visibility was most likely a big factor.
Editor's Note: The above video is from a story that aired on May 18, 2022.