SOUTHAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Two children were injured in a crash in Cumberland County involving a horse and buggy, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
The crash happened around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday along Ritner Highway between 533 and Cramer Road in Southampton Township.
State police said three people were thrown from the buggy in a collision with a sedan. Two of them were children who had to be flown to a hospital with severe injuries, troopers said.
The condition of the third person in the buggy is unknown.
The video report below states that the third person was not as severely injured. Cumberland County has one Amish settlement of eight churches.
Hat tip to Ed.
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How many a year
Pennsylvania buggy crash
Time for seat belts
I have a cousin and I know several other people who have been in accidents, who would have died if they were wearing a seatbelt. Sometimes it is safer to be thrown out of the vehicle, for example if the vehicle is being crushed. Buggies are not designed to withstand the force of accidents with trucks and cars. Also, due to large families and the varying numbers and sizes of people who need to ride inside a buggy at different times, I do not believe seatbelts will ever be an acceptable option to the Amish or the Old Order Brethren and Mennonites who still use buggies.
"Acceptable to Amish?"
Sister Su: If you are an adult and choose to put your life at risk by not wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle because it might be better to be thrown out in an accident, that is your right but you would still be fined I believe in most states for exercising your right to do that. For the Amish or any other group claiming to do something they feel is divinely directed or not which puts a child at undue risk is totally unacceptable. If an adult is not capable of making that decision on their own, the government has the responsibility to require them to do that. If the Amish rode motorcycles, which I realize they do not, would they “shun” helmets as they do operating safe buggies? If a buggy cannot be made to meet the same safety standards as a car is required to have in order to be registered for use, buggies should not be allowed on public roads. Adults operating buggies are a menace to themselves and most importantly to any children riding with them. If the Amish insist on using buggies on public roads, children should be banned from riding in them. That would, I realize, be a hardship for the Amish but having a funeral for a child cannot be easy can it?
It’s time for people driving vehicles to put the phone down. This isn’t a seatbelt issue its distracted driving issue. I know the occupants of this buggy and pray those two boys make it.
Blaming driver of vehicle causing crash
Does it lessen the pain and hurt when burying a child to blame the accident on the driver of the vehicle that crashed into the buggy?
Passenger safety in buggies?
Why are Amish adults able to put the safety of their children at risk when riding in a buggy? At least in PA, buggies are required to have reflective safety triangles mounted on the back. If the Amish can be required to do that even though many groups initially felt doing so would be attempting to thwart the will of the almighty, they should similarly be required to protect children in their buggy by having the same safety requirements that all non-Amish MUST have in any vehicle they operate. An Amish adult has the right to choose the risk level they find acceptable for themselves. They ought not to be able to disregard proven safety measures for any child, including their own. If wheels and selected other “modern” technologies are acceptable to the Amish, safety measures that protect children certainly should be as well. It is time to apply common sense, not religious dogma.
Do we know that being strapped into an easily-demolished buggy via seatbelt is preferable than the alternative? I’m not sure that a seatbelt in a buggy works the same way it does in a motor vehicle. See Sister Su’s comment above.
Buggy safety - Amish or non-Amish variety
Erik: Please see my comments about the inherent unsafety of buggies, Amish or non-Amish, to Casey
Who gets to choose?
Ralph, who gets to choose what is safe and what isn’t in terms of horse and buggy safety? And where donyou draw the line? I always wear my seatbelt and none of my four grown children go wothput theirs. It is jist ingrained in their brains (and bodies too, probably — force of habit). But I would never expect the use of such fixtures in a wagon, buggy, etc. Not even when they were babies. You would not use anything when horseback riding, so why when buggy riding? Yes, buggies typically fare worse than automobiles when they tango, but most parents are pretty bright and do whatever they can to keep their children, themselves ad others as safe as possible. If we do not walk in theor shoes, how can we even consider trying to write their rules? This is what they do. This is what they know. We don’t really have a say. As well (I believe) it should be. Auto drivers are supposed to know to watch out for pedestrians, people on bicycles and motorcycles, horses, etc. What makes watching oit for buggies/wagons any different? I hope I do not sound rude or disrespectful, for that is certainly not my intention.
Hi Casey: “Who gets to choose what is safe?” Seems that the experts in the federal government have that responsibility or their equivalent at the state level. I never suggested that putting seat belts in buggies would do anything significant to protect the riders. Just to be clear, I and anyone riding in my car have used seat belts since I bought a new Volvo in 1964. IMO no child should EVER ride in an inherently unsafe buggy or similar vehicle on a public road. If it is not registered, licensed and proven to be safe in many ways, it should not be on a public road with other vehicles carrying passengers. Can I make and drive a junker on the highway if I claim some mythical being told me I am required to do that? Any parent who allows a child to ride in a buggy on a public road is, by definition, NEITHER “BRIGHT nor loving, at least in regard to protecting an innocent child. Would we or the government allow the Amish or any other group claiming a religious exemption to abuse their children in any way? Of course not. One doesn’t have to “walk in their shoes” or ride in their buggies to be able to determine which is acceptable, adhering to someone’s interpretation of what one or more of the 100,000+ deities worshipped in the world today might want humans to do or not do OR to use common sense and “do the right thing.” If religion is not a sufficient reason to protect an innocent life, what good is it?
Rules imposed on Amish by Non-Amish
Casey: One more point. “How can we even consider trying to write their rules?” You do realize I assume, that the Amish are required to obey/follow many rules/laws created by the non-Amish. Putting reflective triangles on the back of their buggies is just one safety-related one. Since that principle has been established and upheld by the courts, my point is that non-Amish laws need to go further in order to protect Amish children riding in buggies, since Amish adults don’t seem to be too concerned about that matter. Yes, you are correct, anyone operating a motor vehicle should do so in a responsible manner but we know that doesn’t always happen. If an accident occurs, it is irresponsible IMO to believe/hope that fate or something else will keep everyone safe. We know that doesn’t happen all the time don’t we?