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Old 5th August 2011, 12:00   #1
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Default Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

Hi all,

I saw a toppled over auto-rickshaw on the road today while driving to work. Think the rickshaw got kissed by a MUV and ended up on its side. The time I got there, some motorists were pulling out the driver and the sole occupant from the rickshaw. Driver was fine but the passenger had some cuts and bruises. MUV was nowhere to be seen. Couldn't take any pics.

Seeing the plight of the passenger, I couldn't help but wonder that these rickshaws are prone to topple over at the slightest of mistakes; so why don't we have traffic rules that mandate both driver and the passenger to belt-up while on the road. Skinny canopy for a roof and barely any protection in the front (no thickened A-pillars, crash bars etc) for a head-on impact, it's a sure shot thing that one will get hurt if the rickshaw meets with an accident. Rashly driven autos (not all but most drivers in the city) are a common site in the city and all the more probability of getting hurt if you are riding one.

I couldn't find the answer anywhere on T-BHP and hence thought will ask fellow bhp'ians to chime in.

Cheers, Sid
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:04   #2
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

I doubt that seatbelts alone would be of much help here. The entire design needs an overhaul. Crash bars, thick pillars et al. The canopy is more of a relief from the rains and sun. No other help there.
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:49   #3
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

You need a secure shell to protect passengers with seat belts. Dont think it would be effective at all here. They should think about banning them with a timeline. If a Nano can be safer (relatively) for its price, it should be possible for them re-design the auto by getting rid of the three wheel model first.
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:57   #4
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Unhappy Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

Hell the rickshaws dont care about their meter, why would they start putting seat belts in Ricks. The ricks are lot more dangerous esp during monsoons on the pot holed roads, you never know when they would topple.

On a serious note, I think the gov should do away with the ricks and instead use the Tata Ace magic as the next means of public transportation. As if now most of the schools are employing these to avoid the road congestion dues to those huge school buses.
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:58   #5
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
You need a secure shell to protect passengers with seat belts. Dont think it would be effective at all here. They should think about banning them with a timeline. If a Nano can be safer (relatively) for its price, it should be possible for them re-design the auto by getting rid of the three wheel model first.
I agree. Actually your post got me thinking. With no disrespect to Nano and its application for personal commuting, think the Nano makes a good case for urban taxi. Almost the same dimensions as Autoricks and a whole lot safer. Wish Tata could plonk that diesel engine in it soon and whoa we will have Nano's (bright yellow ones) as urban rick's (with 4 wheels instead of 3). Aug'11 Autocar carried a comparo between Bajaj and TVS rickshaw's and I remember reading the pricing between 1.25-1.35 lacs for the two. Nano base price too is comparable. Assuming govt subsidies for new purchases, it makes a good case.

On a lighter note, I will be vary of any t-bhp marked Nano's on the road now, lest one of them is going to skin me up on the road .

Cheers, Sid
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Old 5th August 2011, 14:26   #6
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

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Originally Posted by sid1509 View Post
On a lighter note, I will be vary of any t-bhp marked Nano's on the road now, lest one of them is going to skin me up on the road .
Cheers, Sid
Stay away from Pune roads Sid, a red Nano is on the prowl looking for you!
As the others have already mentioned, seatbelts are more useful in a vehicle that is inherently more stable. I dont think they would help much.

It is more important to move on to better designs for urban transport but this will have to be a gradual phase out and phase in. Change management would be very important here as otherwise the rick unions would feel threatened.

by the way, it would help a lot more if those rick drivers extended their hand signals a little more than they do now. Their hand signals are visible probably only to themselves, not even their passengers. This is an irritating menace which if iradicated will help save a few rear endings at least!
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Old 5th August 2011, 16:15   #7
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

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Stay away from Pune roads Sid, a red Nano is on the prowl looking for you!
As the others have already mentioned, seatbelts are more useful in a vehicle that is inherently more stable. I dont think they would help much.

It is more important to move on to better designs for urban transport but this will have to be a gradual phase out and phase in. Change management would be very important here as otherwise the rick unions would feel threatened.

by the way, it would help a lot more if those rick drivers extended their hand signals a little more than they do now. Their hand signals are visible probably only to themselves, not even their passengers. This is an irritating menace which if iradicated will help save a few rear endings at least!
I was fearing this. I have made you see red. Hopefully no other Nano owner will see my posts above . Wish to 'live' longer 'to drive'.

On your note about hand signals, I am reminded of something hilarious I saw in Jaipur. I was tailing one of the local autos and this guy wanted to turn right; he stuck his right leg out indicating that he wants to turn right. I was in splits for the next 10 minutes.

On a serious note, I think the new autos have turn signals but I guess most of the drivers chose to ignore them.

Cheers, Sid
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Old 5th August 2011, 16:35   #8
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

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On a serious note, I think the gov should do away with the ricks
That is never going to happen!

Rickshawwallahs have possibly the strongest union - I think George Fernandes was a Auto and Taxi Union leader early in the 70s or 80s, right?

Where is the Mumbai Corp. on the more than 15yrs old yellow taxi ban? Simply not possible in our country.

Some 10 years ago, the 6-seaters were banned from the main city area in Pune - and you should seen the drama that was created! The Union gathered on the bridge jsut before Pune RTO and literally threw some 10 6-seaters in the river below.

Way too much politics associated with the autos.

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Originally Posted by sid1509 View Post
I agree. Actually your post got me thinking. With no disrespect to Nano and its application for personal commuting, think the Nano makes a good case for urban taxi.
IIRC, Yeduryappa (ex-CM, Karnataka) had proposed exactly the same. Don't what will transpire out of it though.
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Old 5th August 2011, 16:37   #9
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

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Originally Posted by sid1509 View Post
I was fearing this. I have made you see red. Hopefully no other Nano owner will see my posts above . Wish to 'live' longer 'to drive'.



Cheers, Sid
Well I have seen your post and me being in Delhi and you in Faridabad, there are good chances of getting you.

But on a serious note there are no chances that govt will stop these autos in near future, they are even repeating their mistake by allowing shared autos like mahindra champion passenger version to ply on roads. There are lots of them on the roads carrying around more than 10 people at a time without any seatbelts or anything.


With regard to Nano as taxi, I would love to see them with fare at par with autos ( may be possible with CNG version), with Ac of course.

I think Sri Lankan govt has imported some Yellow nanos to be used as taxis, what are we waiting for?
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Old 5th August 2011, 18:43   #10
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

People who buy Rs.30 lakh costing cars don't wear seatbelts, how can we expect people travelling in an auto to wear one even if it provided? Only thing which can and should be done is to get these off the road for good, especially the share autos, but we all know that is not going to happen.
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Old 5th August 2011, 19:15   #11
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

Seatbelts aren't really the answer. These things atleast need metal doors. And thicker pillars.

Maybe that'll make 'em heavier and less fuel efficient, but safer and more stable i.e. less prone to toppling.

Best of all - Ban these things!
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Old 5th August 2011, 19:45   #12
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Angry Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

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Rickshawwallahs have possibly the strongest union .Way too much politics associated with the autos
Its a substantial vote bank too, hence the politicians are hesitant to initiate any action.

Quote:
Some 10 years ago, the 6-seaters were banned from the main city area in Pune
I can still see them esp on the Dandekar chowk to Sinhagad road with the drivers having a lot of attitude

Quote:
IRC, Yeduryappa (ex-CM, Karnataka) had proposed exactly the same. Don't what will transpire out of it though
He lost his seat.

The worst - I have seen are the rickshaws being used to ferry the school children to schools. They are packed to a hilt with the bags hanging out. The driver themselves dont have any sufficient space to move their arms to steer the rickshaws. The traffic police have turned a blind eye to such things. Shouldn't they be pulling up such rickshaw owners for putting the children to risk.
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Old 5th August 2011, 19:53   #13
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
The worst - I have seen are the rickshaws being used to ferry the school children to schools. They are packed to a hilt with the bags hanging out. The driver themselves dont have any sufficient space to move their arms to steer the rickshaws. The traffic police have turned a blind eye to such things. Shouldn't they be pulling up such rickshaw owners for putting the children to risk.
There were some bad accidents long time back involving school-ferrying autos. As usual, RTO promised action, schools pulled up the auto drivers; but mostly the situation is the same.

Autos, yellow taxis - too much history and present associated with them. There's no way they'll be banned. Make them safer? Yes - but the existing auto drivers won't give a hoot to making their autos safe. "Chalta hai".
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Old 5th August 2011, 21:06   #14
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

How would six seat belts get fitted to an auto?
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Old 5th August 2011, 21:41   #15
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Default Re: Seatbelts for auto-rickshaw driver/occupants; shouldn't it be mandatory?

I have been involved in 3 accidents while sitting in a rickshaw
And fourth I have seen right in front of me when a auto having school kids on board took a sharp turn, got toppled and that took fell on a old lady

In my case, all the rickshaws got kissed by fast moving vehicles and then toppled

Even, I wonder why cant the manufactures of rickshaws come up with a design where it wont topple.
Also these rickshaw driver don't maintain it well and drive like hooligans cutting lanes and trying to squeeze in between 2 vehicles

All boils down to the attitude of the government. I am not sure but there would be passing of rickshaws every year like it is for heavy vehicles. Why cant they just ban the vehicle which is not maintained well.
Also manufacturers would say that having a better design will lead to cost increase. All the government has to create stricter norms before which a design wont be passed.
Atleast that way newer rickshaws on road will be safer
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