The Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva had instructed the National Council for Road Safety (NCRS) to formulate a safety code for three-wheeler taxis and to make it mandatory to use safety belts for three-wheel taxis.
He said he would bring an Act shortly to make it compulsory to wear safety belts by users of three wheelers.
Minister De Silva revealed this when he participated at a ceremony at the Sethsiripaya premises at Battaramulla, to launch a modern three-wheeler with special safety gadgets.
“Traffic Police reports indicate that the biggest number of fatalities in road accidents involve three wheelers. We read on newspapers and watch on the TV daily about the fatal accidents involving three wheelers. The main reason for accidents that involve three-wheelers is that this popular vehicle known as the Poor Man’s Vehicle lacks safety equipment, in addition to carelessness and indiscipline of three wheeler drivers,” he said.
“However, I believe that if three wheelers were fixed with safety apparatus such as seat belts, we will be able to minimise road accidents involving three wheelers,” Minister De Silva emphasized.
Minister De Silva pointed out that nearly 1.5 million three wheelers were on the roads at any given time and a majority of them run with technical and mechanical defects, exposing them to dangers and added the number of three wheelers were much more than the necessity.
Minister De Silva stressed the need to educate three wheeler drivers on safe driving and maintaining of discipline as three wheelers and three wheeler drivers have not earned a good name in the society.
He said a modern three wheeler manufactured by a private firm with essential safety equipment, would be introduced shortly as a pilot project.
The manufacturer NCRS’ Dr. Sisira Kodagoda was also present at the demonstration.(Sandun A. Jayasekera)