Expect a lot of Amish traffic today. Why? The reason is in Buckingham County.

Posted 5:03 am Tuesday, January 17, 2023

DILLWYN – Drive slowly on the roads today, especially on curves. That is the warning from the Toga Volunteer Fire Department in Dillwyn. The reason? A large Amish wedding will be held at the Amish Store at 18364 E. James Anderson Highway. As a result, the amount of Amish traffic will grow, with more buggies on the roads.

“Our Amish firefighters have informed us that 450 people are expected to attend,” Toga firefighters said in a statement. “[They’re coming] Buckingham, Cumberland, Prince Edward [and] Charlotte counties and further south, as well as Maryland, New York, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.”

Due to the wedding, residents can expect a lot of buggy traffic, much more than usual, fire officials said. While Amish from this region will bring their horses, those from out of state will be brought in via a series of vans. Toga officials said they have been told local buggies are expected to be on the road until 11 p.m. The Amish store on the James Anderson Highway will be closed to the public during this time. But don’t be surprised to see the parking lot packed with buggies and vans as you drive by.

In a case like this, warnings are issued now, due to the risks on the roads. In October 2021, a pickup truck collided with an Amish buggy in Cumberland County, killing two parents and injuring their eight children. Prior to that, in September 2020, an Amish car pulling a wagon was struck from behind by a car in Buckingham County. Fifteen people, ranging in age from 35 to 5 months, were injured.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said they have seen 3-4 accidents in the last five years. Currently in Charlotte County, it is not a requirement that Amish buggies always have blinkers on.

Offering tips on Amish traffic

That’s why the advisory was issued for today, both to prevent accidents and to prepare other drivers to expect delays due to the large numbers of Amish on the roads. The Toga staff offer some recommendations on how to deal with buggies on the trail.

First, don’t pass unless you have a clear view around the buggy, preferably a passing zone. They also ask you not to tailgate, rev your engine, or honk your horn while passing.

Now when you see a buggy on the road, slow down and allow extra stopping distance. This is especially true in the morning hours when the pavement may be wet with dew.