Hot on the heels of last weeks hansom cab accident comes word from the ASPCA that it issued 76 summonses last year to hansom cab drivers and horse and stable owners with violations ranging from "poor animal treatment to erratic driving." That's about one summons every five days.

2006_01_07_carraigeaccident.jpgThe stats come out as the ASPCA uses the recent accident to renew its lobbying to restrict carriage rides and stables in Manhattan to Central Park only (currently horse drawn carriages are allowed in the park or on adjacent streets between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.).

Currently there are 68 licensed hansom cabs in the city, 360 licensed carriage drivers and about 175 horses working with them. Beyond last weeks accident "Last year, two horses ran loose in traffic after a driver hit their coach. In 2003, two cabs carrying passengers toppled after their horses bolted."

"At some point, the horses will be confined to Central Park, because the program cannot funciton in high-trafic zones" the president of the ASPCA told the Post. "We'd like to see that day come sooner not later." Gothamist couldn't agree more. What's your take?