Just this past month a carriage wagon jackknifed in snarled downtown Charleston traffic and caught the eye of a pedestrian who took a terrifying video as it happened. The horses were frightened and desperately tried to right the wagon. Apparently, a shaft helping to steer the wagon broke, and in the resulting video, you can view it for yourself (above). There have been 130 carriage-related accidents/incidents since 2016.
The City turned a blind eye to a Comprehensive Safety ordinance just last fall that Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates presented for consideration. The City’s Tourism Commission, the majority of whom have financial interests in tourism turned their back on the issue; in fact, grousing about having to spend time on a safety ordinance!
The truth is, the City does not require professional Safety Inspections of any carriage wagon in Charleston. Is there any wonder these kinds of accidents/incidents keep happening? Wheels falling off, shafts breaking, harnesses and reins tore as well as drivers who are not required to be licensed or submit to random drug testing. Cutting too close to overhanging tree branches and shearing off the top of the wagon name but a few of the potential risks incurred. Children have fallen off carriage wagons, and adults have fallen off or jumped off wagons in fear, causing personal injury. Drivers have fallen off wagons. People have been ambulanced to local hospitals from carriage-related accidents/incidents….yet the City turns it back.
Check out our website at www.charlestoncarriagehorseadvocates.com See for yourself a list of the 130+ carriage-related accidents/incidents that have occurred since we began to keep records (forcing the City to come clean on just how many of these incidents have occurred). Charleston has seemingly become a City more concerned with tourists and developers rather than its residents. The City appears drunk on tourism rather than on the safety of its citizens and the animals under its jurisdiction.
Where’s our Mayor in all this? We know he gets numerous calls and complaints from concerned citizens and visitors who care about the safety and welfare of pedestrians and voiceless horses and mules. Where’s City Council? And what about the members of the Tourism Commission?
Are any of these folks going to act responsibly or will they continue to bow to the carriage wagon industry and the heaps of campaign contributions given by the industry to the politicians and the profits from tourism-related businesses that line the pockets of many of the Tourism Commission members?
Will WE hold them accountable?
Guess what? Since 2017 Charleston Carriage Horse Advocates has been sounding the alarm. That’s what we do. That’s why we need you to help. We put up billboards, we pay for banners, we pay for handbills, and we pay for social media and website support. But we can’t do this alone! We can’t be the only ones standing up and being counted! We need YOU to help. We can only be effective if YOU sign-on!
Call/write City Council members and the Mayor
DONATE so we can pay for billboards ($6,000 per month; Banners $30 per banner etc).