All three-wheeler taxis should be fitted with meters by April 30, National Council for Road Safety (NCRF) Chairman Dr Sisira Kodagoda said.
The three-wheel taxis must also issue a printed bill to the passengers for their fare indicating the distance, fare and taxi details from April 30.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he said a six-month grace period had been given for the three-wheeler owners to fix their meters.
“The six-month grace period expired on April 1 and the law had to be implemented from that day. But considering the difficulties, the grace period was extended till the end of this month,” he said.
“After April 30, the law would be strictly implemented and stern legal action will be taken against the passenger transport three-wheelers for not having fare meters,” he said.
He said that the taxi meter manufacturers had been advised to build their meters according to the standards stipulated by the Transport Ministry.
“The taxi meters manufacturers should manufacture according to SLS standards. We cannot interfere with the manufacturing process but the meters should be made according to the given specifications,” Dr Kodagoda said.
“The maximum cost for a meter should be less than Rs.10, 000 and the meters should be provided to three-wheeler drivers under several instalments, if they couldn’t pay the full amount upfront,” he said.
He said the law was not to exploit three-wheeler drivers but to regulate their service, he said.
He said that the Traffic Police had been advised to arrest errant taxi drivers and a fine would be imposed on them.
Out of the total of 1,150,000 three-wheelers in the country, only 750,000 three-wheelers serve as passenger taxis. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)