The bill to ban horse-drawn carriages
Intro 573 is the bill introduced into the City Council in December 2014, which would ban horse-drawn carriages from operating in NYC. It is in the Transportation Committee. Because an industry would be shut down, the law requires that an Environmental Impact Study be completed and until it is, no vote maybe taken on this bill. But even after it is hopefully passed, the drivers will be able to operate until mid 2016 when their licenses expire. If they take this to court, they will be on the streets for a much longer period.
In the meantime, how do we deal with this wild, wild west laissez faire attitude displayed by this industry? The ASPCA gave up humane law enforcement in January 2014, transferring it to the NYPD. But they are not taking it seriously and for the most part street laws are not enforced.
The law does not require drivers to report accidents to anyone - not the NYPD, not the Department of Health or Consumer Affairs. The press knows about very few. We have often relied on reports from random eye witnesses. But most are simply not reported. And 311 is not the venue to make a difference.
Similar to no one knowing how much this cash only business pays in local taxes; no one knows the truth about the number of accidents that actually occur. When someone encounters overcharging, bad service or hostile behavior, they may be upset at that moment, but then they want to forget about it and do not make a formal complaint. When there is a two month lapse between the complaint and hearing back from 311, most of them are probably dropped.
It is the rare person who takes the time to make a complaint in the first place.
(Photo: Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages)