Sunday, January 13, 2008

On the Run in Savannah

A television reporter in Savannah, Georgia seemed to have the right idea with her piece titled "Horse-Drawn Carriage Accident Raises Concerns." Alaina Anderson told of the recent accident in Texas, where an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) spooked a horse and the driver was run over by the carriage and seriously injured. She described the recent accident in Charleston, South Carolina that injured six people; in this accident, a single horse was pulling a carriage with 13 passengers.

Ms. Anderson wrote that she was worried about the efforts to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, and she described the recent accidents in Charleston and Texas as unusual. It is rare that horses spook, she said. Carriages rides are romantic and nostalgic, she added.

While this kind wishful thinking and civic-mindedness may be commendable with respect to advocating for lemonade stands and flower carts, it is ill-informed and badly misguided in a discussion about having horses work in city traffic.

Evidence has shown that there is no way to make city streets safe for horses. Around loud noises and cars, it is sadly predictable that a horse will become spooked. In such a scenario, the horse will usually be injured.
Recent accidents in smaller cities and towns have demonstrated the established likelihood that a horse will get spooked by noise: jackhammers, construction, cars, honking horns, and ATVs are some of the noises that have led to serious accidents in recent weeks.

Ms. Anderson's online piece included a link to Carriage Tours of Savannah.

Read an expert opinion about the lives of carriages horses in New York City.

No comments: