Minister of Transport Nimal Siripala De Silva says the government has decided to impose a new regulation to increase the minimum age for persons engaging in the three wheel industry as a profession to 35.
Speaking in Parliament Minister De Silva said the government is also focused on restricting the number of imports of three-wheelers and buses.
The Minister said what happens today is that an individual who turns 18 obtains a licence to drive a three wheeler as soon as eligible adding that therefore he hopes to table an amendment in future stating that individuals below the age of 35 will not be allowed to drive three wheelers for hires.
Minister De Silva said however the government will not be restricting individuals who have already bought three wheelers adding that in future this regulation will be imposed.
The Minister said there are more than 1 million three wheelers on the roads and the country’s roads cannot bear this number adding that he believes the Finance Minister should take steps to introduce a policy to control the number of three wheel imports.
The Transport Minister said the government cannot impose a full restriction adding that the amount of three wheelers the country has is adequate and it is the same with buses.
The Minister said many buy buses but the government cannot issue anymore route permits adding that the government hopes to import electric buses in future.
Minister De Silva further commented on railway accidents reported during the past year.
The Minister said he has issued a proposal to increase the fine up to 25,000 rupees for individuals who drive across railway crossroads adding that eighty four train accidents have been reported due to vehicles colliding with trains.
He added 506 accidents have been reported of vehicles colliding with rail gates while Seventy six accidents were caused due to passengers falling off moving trains and 436 accidents have been reported when attempting to cross the railway line.