URGENT: Carriage Safety Ordinance

120 carriage-related incidents/accidents since 2016. They include bodily injury, injury to children, animals, and to property. Media reports explain that the industry gives approximately 40,000 tours per year, for a four-year incident rate of approximately 1 in 20,000. That seems like a low risk at first glance. But it is a shockingly high risk on a per-trip basis. For the sake of comparison, the BCDCOG 2006-2015 study found that Broad Street sees, on average, 11,000 vehicles per day, every day of the year. At an incident rate of 1 in 20,000, the industry’s track record is equivalent to a vehicle randomly careening down Broad Street every two days!

Removal of provisions to the extent that the sub-committees did so renders the proposed Safety Ordinance a poverty of safety provisions for carriage wagons on public streets and sets the City up for litigation and a blight on the image of Charleston when the inevitable carnage occurs. I support the City version of the ordinance in its original form without the Tourism Sub-committee deletions, with the following additions:

  • Require that any company that receives a license to operate in the City of Charleston maintain a policy that requires routine random drug testing before, during employment, and after any carriage-related incident.

  • The City should not rely on a standard that is not available to the public. Codifying “CONA Guidelines”, an acronym for the trade organization of the carriage Industry without delineating what that means (No person can view CONA guidelines unless they are a member of CONA ) is not the norm in drafting laws. The liability of using guidelines only available to carriage trade members should be concerning to the legal staff and those who are responsible for the safety of the citizens and the public in Charleston.  

1) https://www.live5news.com/story/35396124/following-the-money-from-the-carriage-industry-to-the-city/

2) https://www.preservationsociety.org/assets/real/FULL-TRAFIC-COUNT-DOCUMENT.pdf, at p. 6

Letter Campaign by
Charleston, South Carolina