Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said last week that the government wants to severely restrict the import of three-wheelers as they there were too many on local roads and they were also a main cause of fatal accidents.
He said the government may not be able to totally ban the import, but he had asked Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to consider measures to restrict the flow of trishaws which accounted for nearly a fifth of all fatal accidents.
“About 18 percent of the fatal accidents involved a three-wheeler… over 300 people are killed (in 2015 ) in three wheel accidents,” the minister told parliament.
He said the government had no intention of regulating fares of three wheelers, but regulations were introduced to make fare meters mandatory.
“The drivers can decide what they want to charge. If the passengers agree, then it is fine. But, we feel market forces will decide the fare; all what we want to do is have some minimum standards.”
Official figures show that there are 1.2 million tuk-tuks registered in the country and vast majority of them are being used as taxis.