Safety fears scupper three-wheeled taxi bid
A bid to use tuk tuks as taxis has been given the thumbs down by Dumfries and Galloway Council.
It was in response to an enquiry as to whether they council would consider licensing a tuk tuk as a taxi.
As reported in TaxiPoint on 19 September, the request sparked police concerns in relation to safety.
However the council decided in a unanimous decision that the three-wheeled vehicles were not suitable in "type, size and design" for use as a taxi or private hire.
The Council asked a number of questions in relation to the vehicle’s use including, how many passengers may the vehicle seat in total, whether it has a European Certificate of Conformity and whether it has adequate heating.
Gordon Bryce, Transport & Operations Manager, said: "In my opinion this type of vehicle is not suited on our local roads as a Taxi/private hire vehicle. The vehicles top speed is no more than 40mph which on a trunk road or B class road would cause an obstruction and potentially increase the risk of an accident.
“The vehicles lack of safety devices is my greatest concern, with no air bags, only lap belts in the rear, and absolutely no impact protection."
A Police spokesperson commented: "Perhaps most concerning about the Tuk-Tuk would be the protection afforded to the passengers and driver should the vehicle be involved in a road traffic collision.
"The vehicle itself would have no airbags and no side impact protection system, these are vital safety features in the modern motor vehicle and are proven to reduce fatalities on our roads. The Tuk-Tuk has no doors and therefore side impact protection is non-existent, meaning any side on impact would present a significant risk of injury or worse to any occupants.
"Due to the vehicles small size, the occupants would be seated close to the vehicles extremities. Coupled with the no airbags or side impact protection I fear death or serious injury is a very real possibility."
The three-wheeled vehicle, which has the primary construction of a motor-cycle, has a top speed of 40mph.
Police expressed concerns as to their safety due to its three-wheeled design which could make it prone to tipping, its short and narrow wheel base and the protection afforded to the passengers and driver should the vehicle be involved in a road traffic collision.
A police spokesman said at the time that the vehicle itself would have no airbags and no side impact protection system and would present a significant risk of injury or worse to any occupants.
Image Source: D and G Council