Ky. Vehicle Law Doesn’t Target Amish, Court Says

     (CN) – Amish buggy drivers are not victims of discrimination from a law that requires them to have reflectors on their vehicles, the Kentucky Court of Appeals rules.

     Jacob Gingerich, Emanuel Yoder and Levi Zook challenged the state statute after they were convicted of failing to display a fluorescent yellow-orange triangle with a red reflective border.
     They claim that the statute unlawfully interferes with the exercise of the Old Order Swartzentruber Amish religion.
     The Amish plaintiffs cited their religion’s disdain for loud colors and secular symbols, which they say interfere with their relationship with God.
     The trial court decided in favor of the state, ruling that the law targets slow-moving vehicles, not certain religions. The appeals court saw the issue the same way.
     “Just as the Kentucky Supreme Court has previously held that ‘driving an automobile is not a fundamental constitutional right, but a legitimately regulated privilege,’ so also is the use of public roads,” Judge Ann Shake wrote for the court.
“Further, the use of a vehicle and the use of public roads are not acts of religious worship,” she added.

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