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Horse-Drawn Carriage Accidents

Unmanned Horse Carriage Bolts in Vienna

From Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

Two cars were damaged after an unmanned fiaker horse carriage bolted in the city centre last night (Sun).

Police in the capital said today the two horses ran off in front of the Albertina museum after their driver popped off to get them some food.

A passing car startled them, causing them to bolt, and the quick-thinking carriage driver took up the chase by jumping into a colleague's fiaker.

As the unmanned carriage hurtled down the street it grazed a parked car in Walfischgasse before ramming into another parked at Schwarzenberg Square, around one kilometre from where the horses had bolted.

Officials said although no people were injured one of the horses suffered a cut to its neck.

An earlier incident involving a fiaker horse carriage happened last December when an eight-year-old girl fell onto the street after standing up to take a picture during a ride. She suffered bruises to her back.

Viennese police decided last summer to carry out regular alcohol tests among fiaker drivers to protect the horses and reduce the potential of accidents.

The regulations agreed on by city authorities and cops in August was 0.79 promille, while the general drink-drive limit on Austrian roads is 0.5 projmille.

The fiakers are one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. A recent poll showed one fifth of Vienna residents said the horse carriages were a "characteristic part of the city."

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