Motoring snippetsJune 8, 2012, 7:35 pm
By Dyan Seneviratne
Arrested for taking 14 kids in trishaw
Police arrested a Three Wheeler Driver for transporting 14 school children at Keenagaspitiya in the Hasalaka police area on Tuesday 24 April. The kids aged between 5 to 13 years had apparently traveled in this Trishaw for some time earlier! This begs the question: surely weren’t their parents aware of this suicidal practice? Not only the ‘Trishaw Johnny’ but in this case even the parents should be taken to task!
Trishaws in sri lanka: a fast emerging mafia?
They are a law unto themselves: They park wherever they please or worse, create their own unofficial ‘Parking Slots’. They hog the center of the road, sometimes travelling at snail’s pace, blocking traffic behind them or scorch at breakneck speed on the ‘wrong-side’ with a ‘Don’t Care a Damn’ attitude! They are notorious for making those U-Turns right next to ‘No U-Turns’ Notices!
They overtake you from all sides, even scraping your paint, nonchalantly and squeeze in to the top of the queue at ‘Traffic Light’ Stops! Yes, over-crowding is de rigueur. But try personally cautioning anyone of them and you’ll have your nose bloodied at the next junction by a swarm of his buddies! These are just a sample of what other motorists endure. Isn’t it then a ‘Trishaw Mafia’ that has emerged and indeed spreading fast – thanks to some politicians who mollycoddle them as it appears to be expedient to do so in this current environment of impunity and lack of Law & Order. So here’s an appeal to the lawmakers: Please introduce tough regulations to rein in these errant Trishaw Drivers ASAP.
3-passengers per trishaw rule: most
As I write this column the sudden rule of 3-passengers per Trishaw rule has been suggested.
This rule is most welcome, although we have been appealing for such a Law to be introduced for years, literally! Anyway as the cliché goes: better late than never! Unlike the forgotten ‘Jaywalkers’ rule let’s hope that this Trishaw Rule at least will not only be strictly adhered to, but sustained as long as 3-wheelers run in SL! Period!
Arguments against 3-pasengers per trishaw rule are absurd!
The arguments against aforementioned rule such as: ‘What about a family with more than 3 people? Will they have to take another Trishaw’ etc are laughable and should be thrown into the WPB. Let us emulate taxis in Singapore – 3 in rear seat and only one passenger in front. Big families? Hail another Taxi! Simple! What is moot is that such Laws are introduced bearing the ‘SAFETY’ of all concerned and not convenience!
Let more ‘life
protecting’ road rules be re-introduced
In the wake of ‘3-Passngers per trishaw Rule’ may we implore the powers-that-be to re-introduce ‘Laws’ that were prevalent during calmer, halcyon days in SL and/or followed by most sane nations now with aim of protecting their subjects, such as:
 All pedal cyclists to wear light [ideally, luminous] clothing after dark. All such pedal cycles be equipped with a dynamo or battery powered light in front and reflectors in rear.
All sellers of push bikes to ensure [by Law] bikes be so fitted with such appropriate lights.
 All pedal cyclists to wear suitable and appropriate head protection ‘cycle caps’.
 Jaywalker rule to be strictly enforced island-wide. However more pedestrian crossings be made available – to be located away from bus stops, flyovers etc and be well marked and illuminated. Speed bumps be constructed at appropriate points before such crossings.
 Strictly follow No U-turn Rule in such designated locations / roads for all vehicles, including motor cyclists & Trishaws. No moving across/against traffic e.g. turning into a side lane etc – they should instead merge with traffic and only use identified locations such as Roundabouts etc to change direction during rush hour periods: 6am to 9am and 4pm to 8pm.
 All slow-moving vehicles such as Mopeds, Carts, Trishaws, buses, trucks etc to use slow-lane [like on main route to KIA] All bullock carts be equipped with pneumatic tyres. Ban steel wheels.
 Make it an offence for slow-moving vehicles to hog the fast-lane as it prompts dangerous overtaking from the left. Overtaking therefore must only be on right hand side.
 Motor cyclists who have fast emerged as a ‘Traffic Menace’ on par with Trishaws be reined in: No overtaking on left. No snaking in front [along with Trishaws] to the front of the traffic queue when waiting at ‘colour-light-intersections’. No riding / racing abreast in traffic!
 A Motor Cycle could take only one pillion rider. Anymore means: instant prosecution!
 No Over-Crowding Rule be strictly enforced for cars, vans and even buses. [e.g. a nine-seater van can carry only 9 and not 25! School vans: this rule to be strictly enforced] Similarly a 5-seater car – taxi or private, could carry only 5 and not 12! Such laws are basic. They must be followed if we hope to have any semblance of law & order in our streets.
 ‘Container Traffic’ to be confined only between 9pm and 5am. All containers be well secured and latched and not simply and carelessly ‘placed’ as in many cases – endangering all!
Courtesy Motor Magazine
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