In an effort to stave off encroaching worldliness, the small Mennonite town of Neuschanzenbach has banned the use of turn signals, driving with the headlights on, and shoulder-checking before changing lanes. The new law is in response to increasing numbers of Englishers driving safely and signalling their intentions in the village.
“We can’t have these outsiders coming in here and flashing their fancy turn signals all over town,” said Neuschanzenbach reeve Bernie Neufeld. “For years we’ve gotten on just fine without ever using a turn signal and I don’t see why we need to change that now.”
Village residents belong to a peculiar Mennonite sect who are perfectly fine with modern motorized transportation, but find any safety requirements like signalling before a lane change or coming to a full and complete stop to be utterly sinful.
“If you ask me, turn signals shows a complete lack of faith,” said Neufeld. “It’s the same reason I don’t scrape the ice off my windshield.”
Over the last thirty years, Neufeld has not used his turn signal once and is considered a role model for young people and a prominent and highly respected leader of the local anti-turn signal movement.
“My hope and prayer is that our Mennonite young people don’t succumb to the turn signalling ways of the world like they’ve done with drinking and dancing,” said Neufeld, feeling rather pious about the whole thing. “I sure hope this Mennonite tradition doesn’t die out with my generation.”
While Neuschanzenbach has much lower than normal compliance with turn signal laws, it also has the nation’s highest numbers of people swearing loudly in Low German and flipping off other drivers.
(photo credit: Jeffrey Beall/CC)