News & Announcements 


Debra Wevers  -  January 30, 2009      

My name is Debra Wevers and I work in New York City in Midtown.  I am with the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and I am here to speak in support of Intro. 658, the bill that would ban horse-drawn carriages.

Most tourists, and some New York City residents, are under the impression that the carriage horses live in Central Park. The reality is very different.

They have long commutes in some of the heaviest traffic in the nation.   
Not surprisingly, New York City is said to have the highest carriage horse accident rate in the country.

Some alarming trends have been reported by the ASPCA, namely:

·    an increase in the number of horse-related accidents and deaths

·    and ongoing problems and violations

Further complicating the issue is an acknowledged failure—BY ANY AGENCY OR ORGANIZATION--to provide meaningful oversight, especially with respect to traffic violations, such as:

·    U-turns

·    “running” red lights

·    talking on cell phones while driving in traffic

·    standing up while driving

·    and even driving while turned  backward to chat with passengers

Given a horse’s propensity to spook at the slightest provocation, as did Smoothie and Spotty (and with tragic consequences), the stakes are high with regard to the dangers of putting horses into traffic.  Smoothie was spooked by a drum sound and took off running. She caught her carriage in a tree, broke her leg and went into shock and died.  Spotty was spooked, bolted down 9th Avenue and smashed into a station wagon. He was badly injured and had to be euthanized.

As with Smoothie and Spotty, in most spooking accidents, horses bolt and crash.

Studies have shown that horses are almost always injured in these accidents, and people often are as well.

This unnecessary industry puts horses in harm’s way, and endangers the public safety.

The accident that killed Spotty inflicted life-threatening injuries on the CARRIAGE DRIVER, and injured passengers in the vehicle.

Fifteen-hundred-pound horses DO NOT BELONG in city traffic—they are an accident waiting to happen.

I am one of the TENS OF THOUSANDS of individuals who support a FULL BAN on horse-drawn carriages.