As someone that’s not from Iowa, there are a few roadway norms I have needed to adjust to. I mean, I have been caught behind tractors before, but those are nothing compared to the combines that are about to hit the field.

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But another thing that I have never encountered before moving to Iowa is the Amish.  Growing up, my family and friends always sold their cows to the Pennsylvania Amish, but I never was included in these trips. So, when I was driving through Fairbank the other day, the horse-and-buggies were a new sight to me.

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash
Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

This was a first-time driving experience for me as I wondered what the driving rules were around passing these slow-moving vehicles.

So, how are you supposed to go about passing these horse-and-buggies?

Horse-drawn carriages are slow-moving vehicles and are marked as one. If you drive up on a vehicle with a reflective orange triangle on its back and will only be traveling 35 mph or less.

To get a better idea about sharing the road with horse-drawn carriages, I spoke with Sergeant Alex Dinkla over at Iowa State Patrol.

Just like the farm machinery those those horse and buggies that are out on our roadways, they're able to be on the roadways. And we have to always remember that they are going at a very slow pace, so your vehicle is going to approach those horse and buggies very quickly. Just like always, as you're driving your vehicle you have to pay attention to what's ahead and be ready for anything that might be in your lane.

He adds,

You're going to have to slow down possibly just wherever the roadway conditions are. If it's appropriate that you're going to have to slow down you might have to, but they are in the road and they are an object in the road. So, whatever you need to do to be safe.

One tip that the Amish community gave to KCRG is to stay at a consistent speed when passing and to avoid showing down too quickly.

When it comes to sharing the road with a horse and buggy, it’s important you remember that traffic laws are still in effect. A double line still means no passing- which is especially important because they are in spots that are not safe for passing.

Hilarious Iowa DOT Signs

Anyone else share a sense of humor with a state's Department of Transportation? Just me? Well, every Monday the Iowa Department of Transportation puts up a sometimes hilarious, sometimes straightforward message on their road signs across the state. This is called "message Monday" and Iowa DOT tries to entertain and educate drivers through these signs. Here are just a few of our favorites.

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