Just last month, the famous Venice gondolas were placed in the national spotlight due to a severe hazing incident (reference video) speculated to have taken place due to drunkenness of the gondelier. Once again, Venice finds itself in the spotlight with its gondoliers at the root.
Venice authorities are imposing a ban on gondolas during the Grand Canal's high traffic periods as the result of the death of 50-year old German tourist, Joachim Vogel on August 17. Vogel, along with his wife and three children, were hurled into the water near the popular Rialto bridge when their gondola met abruptly with a vaporetto water taxi. Vogel was crushed by the collision of the two vessels. His 3-year old daughter was treated for head injuries.
According to the BBC, "Police say traces of cocaine were found in the bloodstream of the gondolier."
Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni states "We have to think of the Grand Canal as a street, a main street like that of all cities, with particular heavy traffic. We need some discipline." To avoid future accidents, he said, "these measures will require some sacrifices for citizens".
It appears Venice authorities will begin to brainstorm proposals to treat its waterways similar to cities with roadways. Checking for drug and alcohol use, establishing regulated traffic flow and limiting gondola use during heavy traffic periods to increase safety measures for all citizens and tourists.
Presently, Venice waterways operate with very little regulation. Vessels of all sizes compete for space in Venice's popular canals.
SOURCE: BBC News, Associated Press
Did you enjoy this article? Click the subscribe button above to receive new articles straight to your inbox.