Carriage drivers need drivers’ licence says Victoria city council

Novice drivers not wanted behind the reins in Victoria

City council do not wish to see novice vehicle drivers given the reigns of a horse-drawn carriage.

“I understand the rationale (of) allowing young people and students to be able to operate these vehicles as a summer job,” said Coun. Marianne Alto. But, she said, it involves live animals carrying several people.

“With the unpredictability of having your horse power being an actual horse … I’m a little uncomfortable with the suggestion that you could do it with a learners’ permit,” she said.

The discussion was spurred by a wider discussion on amendments to the city’s vehicles for hire bylaws. Staff recommended a change to allow a person with a Class 7 or novice licence to drive the carriage. It was made “to reflect challenges in the industry imposed by the new graduating licensing,” explained Rob Woodland, Victoria’s director of legislative and regulatory services.

Council voted in favour of requiring a Class 5 licence for carriage drivers. Only Geoff Young opposed the motion.

“Some people are going to be rendered unemployed by this bylaw,” he said.

Council considered other changes to the bylaws regulating carriages.

Thornton-Joe also asked staff to consider reduce hours of carriage businesses to avoid conflicts with rush hour traffic. She also asked that weight restrictions for carriages be aligned with guidelines endorsed by the S.P.C.A.