Three-wheeler reg­u­la­tions from Jan. 1, de­merit sys­tem early next year

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - By Shaadya Is­mail

As con­cerns rise over an in­creas­ing num­ber of fatal ac­ci­dents on Sri Lankan roads, the au­thor­i­ties are gear­ing up to im­ple­ment new safety reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing three-wheel­ers from Jan­uary 1 and the new fine sys­tem to­gether with a point­based de­merit fea­ture from early next year.

Mo­tor Traf­fic Depart­ment le­gal of­fi­cer K.I. Yo­gachan­dra said ar­range­ments were be­ing made to im­ple­ment the re­vised three-wheeler reg­u­la­tions which were ap­proved by Par­lia­ment on Oc­to­ber 20 after some changes were made.

The three-wheeler safety reg­u­la­tions were first gazetted on Jan­uary 9 this year but they were re­vised after ob­jec­tions from three wheeler as­so­ci­a­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Coun­cil for Road Safety, the re­vised reg­u­la­tions stip­u­late that the speed of a three- wheeler should not ex­ceed 40kmph and that the num­ber of pas­sen­gers should be three. How­ever if chil­dren are to travel, two adults can ac­com­pany them.

In terms of the new reg­u­la­tions, a speedome­ter and a fare-me­ter are manda­tory. The dis­tance be­tween the driver’s seat and the pas­sen­ger’s seat should have a gap of 21.5cm.

Mean­while the Trans­port Min­istry Sec­re­tary G. S . Withanage said the reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing the new traf­fic fine sys­tem were be­ing fine-tuned by the Le­gal Drafts­man. The reg­u­la­tions are ex­pected to be pre­sented in Par­lia­ment be­fore the end of this year or early next year.

Mo­tor Traf­fic Depart­ment's Mr Yo­gachan­dra ex­plained that un­der the pro­posed fine sys­tem, a de­merit sys­tem would be in­tro­duced and it would be pri­mar­ily con­trolled by the Com­mis­sioner of Mo­tor Traf­fic, while the data en­try will be car­ried out at po­lice sta­tions.

He said that at present, net­work­ing is­sues were be­ing dealt with to link the Mo­tor Traf­fic Depart­ment's driv­ing li­cence sys­tem with the de­merit sys­tem to be in­stalled in po­lice sta­tion com­put­ers.

These moves come as trans­port ex­perts call for tough new mea­sures to re­duce fatal road ac­ci­dents.

On Mon­day, at Madu­rankuliya, seven pas­sen­gers, in­clud­ing an In­dian na­tional, were killed and 45 were in­jured when a Colom­bobound bus from Jaffna over­turned.

Po­lice said the bus hit the rail­ing of a bridge while over­tak­ing a three-wheeler.

In an­other fatal ac­ci­dent, three peo­ple died after the truck they were trav­el­ling in crashed into a trans­former post in Min­uwan­goda.

Ac­cord­ing to Po­lice sta­tis­tics, 2,544 peo­ple died in 2,421 fatal road ac­ci­dents in the first ten months of this year.

The dead in­clude 762 pedes­tri­ans, 823 mo­tor­cy­clists, 152 pil­lion rid­ers, 239 cy­clists, 206 driv­ers and 354 pas­sen­gers.

Po­lice Spokesman Ruwan Gu­nasekara at­trib­uted the high num­ber of road ac­ci­dents to neg­li­gence on the part of both pedes­tri­ans and driv­ers.

He said road ac­ci­dents could be re­duced by 60 per­cent if the driv­ers and pedes­tri­ans were con­scious of road safety.

Amal Ku­marage, Se­nior Pro­fes­sor at Mo­ratuwa Univer­sity's Trans­port and Lo­gis­tics Depart­ment said most ve­hi­cles on the road had no strin­gent safety stan­dards. In a bid to make ve­hi­cles af­ford­able, some man­u­fac­tur­ers com­pro­mise on safety mea­sures, he said.

Ac­cord­ing to him, heavy ve­hi­cles fall un­der the high risk cat­e­gory be­cause they are dif­fi­cult to ma­noeu­vre. Be­sides, our road in­fra­struc­ture is not de­signed for such ve­hi­cles.

He said the main rea­son for ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing buses and trucks is the com­pe­ti­tion among truck driv­ers and bus driv­ers on the road and the poor ve­hi­cle man­age­ment sys­tem.

“In­creas­ing fines or train­ing driv­ers is not enough to curb ac­ci­dents. New tech­nolo­gies like the Global Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tem ( GPS) and other telem­at­ics should be em­ployed to con­trol speed and mon­i­tor ve­hi­cle routes," he said.

The hor­rific ac­ci­dent at Madu­rankuliya that cal­imed seven lives and in­jured 45. Pix by Hi­ran Priyankara

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.