In the annals of automotive history, there are quite a few famous and unusual police car chases, such as O.J. Simpson and his white Ford Bronco or the time a man stole a military tank and drove it through the streets of San Diego. Now, we have another unusual one to add to the list. Recently, police chased a horse and buggy with a drunk and passed-out Amish driver.
Unusual low-speed police chase in Ohio with an Amish horse-drawn carriage
Earlier this month in Ashtabula County, Ohio, there was a strange traffic stop involving sheriff deputies and an Amish horse-drawn carriage, as reported by WKYC Channel 3 and mywabashvalley.com. People called 911 about a driver on US 322 that went the “wrong way” and drove “all over the road.”
When the police arrived at the scene, they found a horse and buggy but “couldn’t see if anyone was inside.” The sheriff deputies called on the driver of the horse-drawn carriage to stop. The driver didn’t respond, which led to a low-speed chase. A video from a body camera shows Ashtabula Sheriff Deputy Mike Talbert saying, “whoa, whoa,” as he tries to get the horse and buggy to stop.
Sheriff deputies find a horse and buggy with a sleeping Amish man and cans of Bud Light
To Talbert’s and the other deputy’s surprise, they found a sleeping Amish man with cans of Bud Light. Talbert said, “There is a Bud Light can sitting in there, and he’s passed cleaned out. We got a drunk Amish guy passed out in a buggy.” He continued, “He just turned eastbound on Bogue, and I yelled at the guy when he rode by. There is a Bud Light can sitting in the damn buggy, and I hit the side of the buggy and hollered at the guy. He’s passed clean out. He’s slumped over.”
Talbert and the other deputies pursued the horse-drawn carriage on a low-speed chase. After several minutes, Tarbert drove in front of the horse and buggy to block its path. The horse and buggy then rammed into his police car. “I have it stopped. Nope, disregard. He just rammed it into my car,” said Talbert.
The collision stirred the drunk Amish man from his slumbers. He woke up and then took control of the horse. After that, the police arrested him on “a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.” The Amish man had a minor injury, but fortunately, Talbert and the horse had no injuries.
What are the traffic rules for horse-drawn carriages?
Traffic rules for horse-drawn carriages vary from state to state. However, state laws generally consider horse and buggies to be “traffic.” Therefore, states treat horse-drawn carriages like other motor vehicles, with some differences. In Wisconsin, some of the rules that apply to horse-drawn carriages include:
- On the back of the buggy, place a slow-moving vehicle emblem (SMV). An SMV is typically an orange triangle-shaped sign.
- To avoid damaging roads, use rubber tires. State law only allows metal tires if they don’t cause roadway damage.
- During nighttime or reduced light from adverse weather conditions, a horse-drawn carriage must have at least one white light at the front of the buggy. Additionally, it must have two red lights and two amber or strobe lights at the rear. These lights must be visible from 500 feet.
- Horse-drawn carriages have the “same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicles when operated on the highway.” This includes, as in the case with the drunk, passed-out Amish driver, not operating a horse and buggy while intoxicated.