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ALDF Reveals Carriage Driver “Hit & Runs” and Other Unreported Crashes

October 29, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

NYC carriage drivers have committed more than a dozen “hit & runs” over the past five years, according to allegations in police records that the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) obtained by court order from the City of New York. Jane Velez-Mitchell speaks to Chris Green, Legislative Director of ALDF, about the news:

One of 14 "hit & run" complaints filed with NYPD

One of 14 “hit & run” complaints filed with NYPD

At a NYCLASS press conference at City Hall announcing the reported “hit & runs,” ALDF’s Legislative Director Chris Green said that the group also discovered “several alarming incidents” that had not been publicly reported. In one instance, a child was rushed to the hospital after falling out of a carriage and being run over by a wheel. The police report stated that the victim “suffered injuries to stomach, chest and head.”

Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) announces "hit & runs"

Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) announces “hit & runs” at NYC press conference

In another incident, a carriage driver “was thrown to the ground” and found by police “laying in the street, not moving.” In the photo below, a  driver was ejected from carriage and hospitalized in a coma when his horse spooked and collided with a station wagon. Unlike many other accidents, this one was reported because witnesses took photos and informed the press and local advocacy groups.

Dead carriage horse

Crash in midtown shows danger of mixing horses and cars (photo: Catherine Nance)

With the help of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages and the local office of Friends of Animals, the ALDF filed a successful lawsuit against the City of New York to release the “hit & run” and other records, which show that “children, cyclists, pedestrians, carriage drivers passengers and NYPD officers have been physically injured by accidents involving New York’s horse carriages.”

Tensions ran high at the press conference, as members of the opposition, including reporters who favor the industry, asked hostile questions of the speakers, including NYC Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who spoke in favor of removing carriages from the streets.

NYC Council Member Tweets Support of Horse-drawn Carriage Ban

NYC Council Member Tweets Support of Horse-drawn Carriage Ban

The effort to ban horse-drawn carriages has been an uphill battle, in part because the NY Times, NY Post and Daily News have published editorials in support of the trade. Nonetheless, local and national animal rights groups continue to advocate relentlessly on behalf of the horses. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who agrees that carriages do not belong on NYC streets, has stated on multiple occasions that he intends to “end carriage rides” in NYC.

Your Turn

If you live in NYC, ask your Council Member to support the Mayor’s plan to end carriage rides in NYC

Sign the two petitions to ban horse-drawn carriages: Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn CarriagesNYCLASS

To keep apprised of developments, subscribe to the weekly newsletter of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages by sending an email to

Watch the award-winning documentary film BLINDERS: The Truth Behind the Tradition that exposes the truth behind the tradition of NYC’s infamous horse-drawn carriage trade:

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. tom Neese says:

    The so called “dish” on “unreported incidents turns out to be a big bowl of nuthin’ the reason they were “unreported” was because the NYPD ruled them unsubstantiated or unfounded and therefore not worthy of action. ALDF was mde to look like fools

  2. Natasha Brenner says:

    De Blasio? Phooey! He promised, but hasn’t delivered while the horses are suffering every day! What the hell is he waiting for? I wouldn’t vote for him ever again. What a phoney!

  3. Vicky says:

    I’m not surprised that all of this is covered up and not reported or disclosed to the public. If it was I would think most people would be up in arms about it. De Blasio has permanently lost my vote as it’s been a year, and he has not kept his promise which was to ban horse drawn carriages in NYC. It’s cruel and antiquated and needs to end.

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