This is a neat story on how a local non-Amish resident of Medina County, Ohio has taken matters into his own hands to try to help Amish neighbors be safer on the roads.

Image: Sara Crawford

There have been multiple recent car-buggy accidents in the area, and Jim Coleman decided to try to do something about it, reports the Medina County Gazette:

SPENCER TWP. — Driving in Spencer Township, it can be hard to miss the bright yellow signs scattered throughout, reading “please slow down” with a horse and buggy on them.

The signs, often placed on high-speed or curved roads, are to remind drivers that there are Amish horse-and-buggies throughout the area and to remain cautious.

Jim Coleman, a Spencer Township resident and former Spencer councilman, created the signs as a result of multiple crashes throughout Medina County.

When Coleman was driving to work one day, there was a detour because of a bad accident involving a buggy. A week or two later, there was another accident involving a buggy. A few weeks after that, he drove past Amish men holding a horse from an accident a quarter-mile down the road.

Image: Sara Crawford

Coleman has paid out of his own pocket for the 100 signs:

Coleman began by ordering 50 signs. Once they arrived, the signs were gone in less than three weeks. He has since then ordered 50 more and now has approximately 15 signs left.

The signs cost nothing for interested residents, but Coleman does collect donations to help offset the price of these signs. He has paid out of pocket for the 100 signs, not worrying about the costs but what would happen if he didn’t put them out.

“What’s one life worth if you save a life?” Coleman said.

One day, when Coleman was putting up a sign along the road, a horse and buggy was driving by and the Amish man shouted out to him saying thank you.

Coleman notes two factors he believes have led to more accidents – an increase in the local Amish population, and distracted driving.

Will the signs have some effect? We probably won’t ever know for sure but I have to think they can’t hurt. Two big thumbs up.

School warns drivers to be aware of Amish children

A related story: the Chippewa County Road Commission (Michigan) is warning local drivers to take care for Amish children near the site of an Amish school. Some children need to cross a bridge lacking a pedestrian crossing. If you’re local this is “just off of South Taylor Road, near 6-Mile, just west of I-75.” The report at upnorthlive.com notes that “The commission is planning to install warning signs but that project could take a while to complete.”

Sounds kind of dangerous. Good they plan to put up signs, eventually, but maybe there is another Jim Coleman in Chippewa County that can fill the gap with a few well-placed signs?

PA Hit-and-run 

Not to end on a sour note, but another related story. Someone hit a buggy and fled on Tuesday. This is Washington Township in Clarion County, Pennsylvania, and here’s the relevant info via 96.7 FM:

It happened along Old Fryburg Road in Washington Township on Tuesday around 8:30 p.m.

A red Ford F-150 allegedly fled the scene of a crash after hitting an Amish buggy and injuring its occupants.

The red Ford F-150 will likely be missing its passenger side mirror and have minor front end damage to its passenger side.

If you know anything about this hit-and-run crash, please call State Police in Marienville at 814-927-5253.



You might also like:


Get the Amish in your inbox


    Question on the Amish? Get answers to 300+ questions in 41 categories at the Amish FAQ.