Senator Pendleton, although not the leading force behind the bill’s beginning, agrees with it’s integrity and believes the bill will have no trouble passing … he hopes.
Senator Ken Winters, who represents Graves County actually began the bill’s construction, said Pendleton, due to his county’s recent Amish troubles as well, which have seen several Amish already arrested and jailed for not adorning the triangle.
According to the old order Amish sect in Auburn, the triangle is a worldly symbol and is against their covenant with God. The group does; however, use the reflective tape, which Pendleton feels is just as effective, if not more so than the triangle.
“I wasn’t really for the bill when it first started,” said Pendleton. “But then I came home and looked at my farm equipment and I had reflective tape on all of it. I thought that I was being a hypocrite and realized that you could see my equipment a lot better with the tape than with a triangle.”
Pendleton took a step back and said he would not be for anything that would jeopardize the safety of others, but felt the tape was a better solution and then changed his mind about the bill, eventually getting on board.
“I’m not doing this for religious reasons. I’m doing this because it’s the best for everyone,” said Pendleton, adding that he probably has more Amish in his community then all the other senators.
Pendleton said he has seen the slow moving vehicle signs and believes you really can’t see them until you are up on them, whereas the reflective tape certainly shows up from a long distance.
“I’ve got it on my gooseneck trainer so people can see it when I have to turn into an intersection,” said Pendleton, adding that he has had a lot of phone calls asking him why he is changing the law just for the Amish.
Pendleton says he is not trying to change the law for just the Amish, but has come to realize because of the situation that reflective tape is actually more effective.
“Right now the triangle calls for 72 inches of reflective tape, in this bill we will be requiring over 100 inches of reflective tape,” said Pendleton.
Pendleton mentioned some recent deaths that have involved the Amish and their buggies in Kentucky. He noted that three of the incidents that resulted in deaths were not caused by motorists not seeing the buggies because they were slow moving. One was from a motorist who had been drinking and driving, one was from a motorist who has suffered a seizure, and one was from a motorist who was reaching down to pick something up in the floor board of his vehicle.
“I feel confident that this bill will pass,” said Pendleton. “We’ve got to do something other than putting these people in jail. I think when the day is done we will have something that will keep everyone safe.”