Traffic came to a complete standstill all over Lancaster County yesterday. Cars were packed bumper to bumper on Route 30 East as far as York County. Thousands of angry commuters complained to PennDOT assuming that there was some sort of unannounced major road construction or the remains of a bloody car crash being mopped up. The cause of the traffic jam was something quite different.
Mr. Ernie Fantini, age 71, and his wife Loretta, residents of Hoboken, New Jersey were in town for a short vacation. The couple reported staying at a “darling little bed and breakfast” for two nights. They also went quilt shopping, saw a show at American Music Theater, and bought a shoo-fly pie for their daughter, Margie.
Everything was going well until approximately 2pm. Mr. Fantini was driving his 1997 Buick LeSabre on Route 30 near Dutch Wonderland when an Amish buggy crossed in front of him. Fantini slowed his car down to five miles per hour and waited patiently for the driver to ease to the side of the road. Fantini thought briefly about passing the buggy, but didn’t know if that was permitted in the state of Pennsylvania. His wife suggested honking his horn, but this was quickly overruled since it would probably “spook the horse” or something.
Thirty minutes later, the Amish buggy turned down a side rode towards his farm. Six hours later, traffic was back to normal all over the county. Lancaster County officials have considered looking into way to educate Jersey drivers about what to do when stuck behind a buggy. Unfortunately, education measures have had no lasting effect, probably because the average Jersey driver is already intellectually overwhelmed by needing to pump his own gas here.