‘Quadricycles may increase road deaths’

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The government’s decision to allow quadricycles, a category of four-wheelers on Indian roads, is fraught with the danger of further deteriorating road safety and pollution, a global not-for-profit organisation said Thursday.

“Disregarding the fact that India tops the world in fatalities in road accidents – with 144,000 in 2011 – he government’s proposed move to consider quadricycles is fraught with the danger of further deteriorating road safety and pollution in the country,” said International Road Federation (IRF).

Quadricyle, which resembles a mini-car, comes with smaller displacement engine, and is slotted between a three-wheeler and an entry level car. It has a lower capacity engine and is hence cheaper than cars.

The road transport and highways ministry Wednesday announced that quadricycles will be allowed to ply as a transport (commercial) vehicle carrying both passenger and goods within city limits and on rural roads.

The IRF, a global body advocating better and safer roads through better design and construction, said the move to introduce quadricyles in India seems to be influenced by Europe.

“India seems to be influenced by Europe in the introduction of quadricycles. In Europe itself the sales of quadricycles were a meagre 23,800 in 2011, as a result of increased awareness of their inferior occupant safety compared to normal cars,” the statement said.

IRF also said that three main traditional markets – France, Italy and Spain – had seen their sales fall from a high of 29,000 in 2007 to just 18,000 in 2011.

“Meanwhile in India, the government has created a panel to propose quadricycle specification, without even evaluating whether such a vehicle type is at all required,” the IRF said in a statement.

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