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We can take a lesson from the Amish

This topic contains 31 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Drewbacca 1 yr.

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ericf

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Dec 3 2013 at 6:03am #

My heart goes out to the victims of the latest crash. The following lines are quoted from a P-G article, which is linked below:

“The hazards faced by operators of animal-driven vehicles inspired the creation of a Horse and Buggy Driver’s Manual five years ago, a collaborative effort that included members of the plain community, Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Being respectful and courteous on the road is an excellent opportunity for us, in our small way, to be a light to the world. Let us not darken it by being inconsiderate to our fellow travelers and by demanding our rights”.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2013/12/03/Fatal-crash-shows-buggy-travel-peril.html#ixzz2mPNioIXG


edmonds59

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Dec 3 2013 at 6:48am #

ericf wrote:Being respectful and courteous on the road is an excellent opportunity for us, in our small way, to be a light to the world. Let us not darken it by being inconsiderate to our fellow travelers and by demanding our rights”.

So, just to be clear, is your thread title a statement of your beliefs, or do you actually want some multi-sided discussion of the linked article? The “We” at the beginning implies that it is something you believe that others should agree with. That being the case, I have to take issue.
I have read and re-read the statement in quotes above to see if there is some way I might possibly be misinterpreting it, because my initial reaction is that it is pretty thoroughly fucked. To associate “demanding our rights” with “darkening the world” is absolutely wrong. The Amish can believe that if that is their preference, but I don’t see how that could possibly be allowed to make it into a state sanctioned manual.


ericf

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Dec 3 2013 at 6:56am #

@edmonds59, I am not Amish. The way I read the article, the Manual is asking people to be respectful and courteous while traveling. The side of the road is not the time or place to argue about who is right or wrong.


edmonds59

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Dec 3 2013 at 7:15am #

Not my point. I’m all about respect and courtesy on the road, I am a paragon of those. I find it inherently disrespectful and discourteous to run down and kill other road users. At that point justice needs to pick up where courtesy leaves off. And to present, in a state approved manual, that demanding your rights not to be killed on public roadways as somehow negative is absolutely wrong.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe

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Dec 3 2013 at 7:21am #

@edmonds – that seems nit-picky to me.

I read the title of the thread and the “lesson” of the post and article as a call to develop a similar type of manual in cooperation with the Police, etc.

(But… hasn’t BikePgh essentially done this already?)

Clearly that “light of the world” language is religion-specific and not appropriate for a proposed cycling manual.

Or, @ericf, am I missing the point?


edmonds59

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Dec 3 2013 at 8:08am #

ALMKLM, I agree that it’s subtle, disagree that it’s being nitpicky. It is a quiet message not to object to an infraction of your rights. Since this manual is directed specifically toward the Amish community, I am aware that it is in line with their beliefs. Judge not lest ye be judged, and all that. However, if that particular line was in a publication designed for the general public, that particular line would be completely unacceptable. Subtle messages can be the most insidious.


gg

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Dec 3 2013 at 8:34am #

ericf wrote:@edmonds59, I am not Amish. The way I read the article, the Manual is asking people to be respectful and courteous while traveling. The side of the road is not the time or place to argue about who is right or wrong.

If I am reading your post right, you seem to be saying arguing on the side of the road will gain very little if anything. Looking back on this, I would agree, I don’t think I ever had any positive impact or changed anyone’s opinion if I argued with someone while riding my bike. The most I do at this point is shake my head with it down in hopes they might feel a little guilt or often I will laugh about the fact that they are continually speeding and getting nowhere which is the case most all the time on city streets. I haven’t said a word to anyone in a car in over a year. The last time was when someone told me I needed to stop at the stop sign in front of Tazza D’oro heading towards the Park. I told them to get a life, but looking back on it, that was stupid. They were correct, but I don’t often stop there unless there is a car waiting.

Sorry for the long reply. Not sure if I am on the right track here.

All have a nice day today.


jonawebb

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Dec 3 2013 at 9:04am #

I think we can all learn a lot from the Amish. They are incredibly forgiving when tragedy strikes them. Remember that gunman who shot several children at an Amish school? They reached out to his widow, raising money to help her. And the Werner Herzog documentary about distracted driving has a story about the Amish father of children writing a kind letter to the driver who ran into their buggy, killing them. The driver has dedicated his life to convincing people not to text while driving. These acts by the Amish change people’s behavior far more than anger ever would.


Marko82

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Dec 3 2013 at 9:56am #

While I admire the Amish for their convictions, I do not wish to emulate them. And one of the darker aspects of their culture is the practice of absolute shunning. So they will forgive a mass murderer but wont talk to their own child if they leave the faith. Fuck that.

I hope that the truck driver that hit that buggy goes to jail for a very long time.


edmonds59

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Dec 3 2013 at 10:06am #

I do agree that our society could stand to learn a lot from the Amish ideals, simplicity, humility, thrift, forgiveness. “Not darkening the world by demanding our rights” is not one of those things. It is one of the ideals of our secular society, engraved in law, that allows them the right to live according to their beliefs, that allows it to be unnecessary for them to demand those rights.


scott

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Dec 3 2013 at 10:08am #

Can we talk about how terrible that headline was in today’s paper? The perils of buggies? C’mon.


StuInMcCandless

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Dec 3 2013 at 10:34am #

I glanced at the article, skimmed the various responses here. The article does seem to have a vein of “blame the victim”. I was getting it more from the story than the headline.

Without getting too deep into it, the sense I get is that what we have in common with the Amish is that inattentive drivers are killing innocent travelers who have just as much right to the road as any of them.

I ask one additional question to all of the Amish stories, one I often ask: What was the driver doing driving? That question is never asked, and needs to be. My subtle implication is that there often is an alternative, but it is not employed. Maybe it’s transit, maybe it’s a designated driver, maybe it’s something simple like making a phone call to get information rather than traveling someplace. But ultimately, if the car wasn’t there, there would have been nothing to hit the buggy (or cyclist).

Don’t fix (or blame) the symptom, fix the problem. Better still, fix the upstream cause.


gg

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Dec 3 2013 at 10:41am #

Marko82 wrote:but won’t talk to their own child if they leave the faith.

The idea of shunning is to get people back into their faith after they leave. It isn’t for life and is used as a tool. The religion obviously isn’t for everyone, but some of their teachings are sure admirable. The way they forgive is amazing. They are also some hard working people. I see them often up north visiting my dad. It seems they are ALWAYS working.


gg

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Dec 3 2013 at 10:46am #

I just don’t understand how anyone can hit one of those buggies? I come up on them all the time up north and they are VERY visible. Not only that, there are warning signs all over the place. It is just so selfish to drive fast through areas of Amish and their areas aren’t exactly huge. Slow down. I hope the driver gets charged with something, but it probably won’t happen. It is careless to hit something on the road like that. You need to have control of your vehicle at all times. Clearly this driver was out of control. You can’t miss these buggies and you certainly shouldn’t miss all the warning signs posted.

It is a very sad story. My heart goes out to that community. They will pull together in typical Amish fashion, but there is no fixing that huge hole that is left.


edmonds59

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Dec 3 2013 at 10:58am #

gg said “I just don’t understand how anyone can hit one of those buggies?”

“The police report stated that the truck trailer was headed west about 30 minutes before sunset.”

Sun was in his eyes, so it’s all cool, no foul.


jonawebb

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Dec 3 2013 at 11:04am #

gg wrote:I come up on them all the time up north and they are VERY visible.

Plus, the motorist was driving a tractor from a tractor-trailer, so he would have been fairly high up, able to see long distances.
Compare the response to the Metro North crash (which killed 4) to the crash into the buggy or any other auto crash (which kill hundreds/day). The Metro North gets immediate investigation, the black box gets examined to determine the speed, the immediate cause of crash is identified and publicized, and next will be to determine if this was a mechanical failure or human error. Nothing like this ever happens — or is even legal, in PA — in the case of motorist crashes. Cops can’t take the cellphone to check for use prior to the crash, equipment that records speeding is either nonexistent or never examined, etc.


cburch

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Dec 3 2013 at 11:24am #

edmonds59 wrote:Not my point. I’m all about respect and courtesy on the road, I am a paragon of those. I find it inherently disrespectful and discourteous to run down and kill other road users. At that point justice needs to pick up where courtesy leaves off. And to present, in a state approved manual, that demanding your rights not to be killed on public roadways as somehow negative is absolutely wrong.

THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


cburch

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Dec 3 2013 at 11:28am #

Marko82 wrote:While I admire the Amish for their convictions, I do not wish to emulate them. And one of the darker aspects of their culture is the practice of absolute shunning. So they will forgive a mass murderer but wont talk to their own child if they leave the faith. Fuck that.

I hope that the truck driver that hit that buggy goes to jail for a very long time.

not to mention rampant misogyny, authoritarian patriarchal rule, absolute religious law, puppies mills, etc. if they were brown and called their god something “weird” we’d be bombing them.


Drewbacca

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Dec 3 2013 at 12:55pm #

gg wrote:I just don’t understand how anyone can hit one of those buggies?

Experience is different. I’ve come up on a few buggies while driving and didn’t see them until the last minute. It’s a visibility thing, with rolling hills, a black object traveling in low light (wooded shade or night time) and not having one of those reflective triangles. It’s very easy for me to imagine someone hitting a buggy, even at the speed limit.


fosci_girl21

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Dec 3 2013 at 1:08pm #

Unfortunately, the road where the incident happened has many long, rolling hills with blind curves (my parents live a ‘block’ away). Since that area is very rural with very little traffic at any given time, automobiles frequently go over the posted speed limit (I think it is either 35 or 45, but the speed limit signs are pretty much non existent). Speeding is very common on those rural roads. This is such a sad incident, and hopefully people will be more careful and watch for slow moving vehicles (whether it be a buggy, bicycle, or farm equipment).


jonawebb

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Dec 3 2013 at 1:25pm #

You know what else would teach people to be more careful? If they enforced the laws. And if cars and trucks had black boxes that could be inspected after a crash, with mandatory sentences for drivers who were speeding when the crash occurred.


Mick

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Dec 3 2013 at 2:16pm #

jonawebb wrote:You know what else would teach people to be more careful? If they enforced the laws. And if cars and trucks had black boxes that could be inspected after a crash, with mandatory sentences for drivers who were speeding when the crash occurred.

Yeah, dude!


Mick

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Dec 3 2013 at 2:25pm #

I’m with Edmonds59 – I don’t think equated demanding one’s rights with either inconsideration or darkness has a place in a state manual.

Do I believe there are times when morally and practically I should forgoe my rights? Sure.

But to have the state suggest, in an official document, that I shouldn’t stand up for them?

Boo Hiss. Not the American way.


Drewbacca

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Dec 3 2013 at 3:17pm #

Mick wrote:
Yeah, dude!

+1

I’m all for accountability, at least in the case of death and/or serious injury.


Pierce

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Dec 3 2013 at 3:24pm #

@cburch

Wow, you beat me to mentioning puppy mills! Not that we don’t have our own little secular (with religious man-has-dominion underlying ideology) hell holes of mass-non-human-animal production facilities, but still…

As for people not understanding how somebody could hit a buggy, we have another incident of a lady running into a stopped garbage truck, so I’m willing to believe people will run into pretty much anything now

Title should read “Fatal crash shows perils of dumbass drivers on Pa. roads”

As for being respectful and courteous, what exactly are the buggies doing that is disrespectful and discourteous? Are they trotting through stop signs? Not cleaning up after themselves? Speeding?


cburch

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Dec 3 2013 at 3:42pm #

Mick wrote:Do I believe there are times when morally and practically I should forgoe my rights? Sure.

But to have the state suggest, in an official document, that I shouldn’t stand up for them?

Boo Hiss. Not the American way.

clearly you are speaking in idealogical and not practical terms


jonawebb

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Dec 3 2013 at 3:43pm #

Pierce wrote:As for being respectful and courteous, what exactly are the buggies doing that is disrespectful and discourteous?

I remember having to avoid buggy ruts left in the road when riding in Amish country. That was sort of annoying.
Also, no helmets. Just those black hats.
I don’t think anyone’s saying the Amish are supergreat, especially as compared to us. Just that they may have something we could learn from.


cburch

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Dec 3 2013 at 3:44pm #

learning to be “respectful and courteous” is great. how about the people operating the dangerous 3 ton automobiles try it?


ericf

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Dec 3 2013 at 4:46pm #

My point was twofold:
1. Humility is a good lesson for all of us, and
B. Arguing with drivers is not only pointless, it can be dangerous as well.

The “We” I was referring to is all-inclusive, cyclists, drivers, pedestrians and anyone else using the street.
If you want to demand your rights, there are venues to do so. A letter to a politician, a courtroom, here on this forum, o.k.. But not on the side of the road.
After reading the Horse and Buggy Driver’s Manual ,

http://www.justdrivepa.org/Resources/Amish%20Horse%20and%20Buggy%20Manual.pdf

it is a little out of context in the PG article. The manual does not suggest giving up any rights or expectations of safety. The line “Being respectful and courteous on the road is an excellent opportunity for us, in our small way, to be a light to the world. Let us not darken it by being inconsiderate to our fellow travelers and by demanding our rights” is part of a larger section on conduct that refers to the ill feelings toward plain people in their communities. I can see the parallels between that and what happens to cyclists.


edmonds59

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Dec 3 2013 at 5:19pm #

ericf wrote:Arguing with drivers is not only pointless, it can be dangerous as well.

Agreed.


salty

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Dec 3 2013 at 11:42pm #

did the PG assclowns kill the comment thread on that article, or is it just not showing up for me (their new comment system seems flaky)?

[edit: oh yay, apparently reloading the same article uses up your "tokens" for the month, so now I can't even read the article...]


Drewbacca

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Dec 4 2013 at 12:50am #

salty wrote:[edit: oh yay, apparently reloading the same article uses up your "tokens" for the month, so now I can't even read the article...]

Just use a second browser, that’s what I do with the NYT at least once a month.

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