“Share the Road” has a slightly different meaning in Whitefield and other towns throughout Maine where Amish neighbors live. When many of us hear that phrase, Share the Road, we may think about people on bikes or joggers/walkers along the side of the road. But in Whitefield it also means people in horse-driven buggies.
A week ago I shared information about an accident here in Whitefield between a young man driving a car and a teenager driving a horse and buggy. I wrote that everyone was ok. Well it turns out, not really. The teen driving the buggy wound up with a broken leg. The horse was hurt and the buggy destroyed. The driver of the car was visibly shaken. All were traumatized, including family and neighbors. So we wonder what more we can do to prevent this from happening.
It turns out that there is a state law that says horses have the right of way. Title 29-A says – “A person riding an animal or driving an animal-drawn vehicle on a public way has the rights …” It also says that, “When traveling in the same direction as an animal on a way, an operator must use reasonable caution in passing the animal.”
The neighbors who helped out at the scene reminded me that “People need to slow down. It’s an agricultural town, people need to think about the animals and farmers who use these roads and they just need to slow down.”
So whether you drive by this display of the damaged buggy or not, please keep that in mind.