From October 2019, auto rickshaws in the country get new safety measures. These stringent safety norms are set to be incorporated into the design of auto rickshaws from next year. This new rule comes following a report on road accidents submitted to the Road Transport Ministry; wherein it was revealed that auto rickshaws were involved in 29,351 crashes which claimed 6,762 lives in 2017.
Following the new regulations, auto rickshaws will be seen with doors or passenger retention compartments which will prevent passengers from falling out of the rickshaws. Seat belts will also be a mandatory feature for drivers while seat dimensions for driver and passenger will also be well defined.
The new auto rickshaws will also be more spacious offering better leg room for driver and passengers. Another improvement is the headlamps. These will offer higher output and there will be two headlamps in place of the single unit seen on the current auto rickshaws.
In India, auto rickshaws are a vital mode of transport for last mile connectivity in urban areas. The auto rickshaws are convenient and economical but there have been countless debates over its safety. Sales of auto rickshaws stand between 5-6 lakhs per year with Bajaj Auto commanding a major share of the auto rickshaw segment.
While most auto rickshaws run on petrol/diesel and CNG, future will see more electric rickshaws. Major brands like Mahindra, Bajaj, are working on electric rickshaws for the future. In fact, Mahindra Electric has launched new Treo electric three wheeler rickshaws in India.
They are offered in three seater and five seater options and priced at Rs.1.36 lakhs and Rs.2.23 lakhs respectively. These prices take advantage of the FAME subsidy and its launch follows that of the e-Alfa electric auto rickshaw launched in India last year. These new rickshaws come with added safety features.