Tok Tok - CC Tok Tok - CC

MP calls to unify Tok Toks color, step to legalize

Sat, Jan. 19, 2019
CAIRO – 19 January 2018: Member of Parliament (MP) Nosela Abu Amr called Saturday on unifying the color of Tok Toks for each governorate as part of the House's move to legalize the long-banned motor tricycle cars and set regulations to its use across streets.

Tok Tok drivers have experienced quite rejection from the officials, with several financial penalties were imposed on driving unlicensed tricycles in Cairo.

The parliament urged to realize that driving tok toks "have become a source of income for many citizens," trying to reverse the chaotic theme attached to the tricycles' drivers, who are blamed for traffic mess in several districts in the capital.

The first move was to assign a color for tok toks similar to taxis; for example: black and white in Cairo; yellow and black in Alexandria and blue and white in Marsa Matrouh. The parliament issued amendments determining tricycle routes, allowing them to move in sub-streets and slums rather than main streets. This is believe to be a bid to ensure traffic liquidity.

Meanwhile, the secretary of the parliament's transport and communications committee Khalid Abdul Azem, said that the regulation of the toktok contributes to maintaining the livelihood of a large segment of Egyptians, while at the same time preserving the rights of the state and protecting citizens from violations committed by toktok drivers.

"Toktok has become a source of livelihood for nearly two million citizens, but it is causing a very serious security crisis as the crime has spread in the past period," Azem added.

Hamdy Arafa, a professor of local administration and consultant for the development of slums, said during an interview with Wael al-Ebrashi on ON E TV that there are a total of 2.9 million toktoks in the North African country, adding that only 111,000 toktoks are licensed.

Commenting on the growing number of toktok drivers, Arafa said that there are 730,000 diploma graduates of commerce, industry and agriculture schools annually, adding that he thinks their university curricula were not linked to the labor market, so most of them go for other jobs.

Tok Tok, has drawn controversy in the country since it appeared across the cities in 2005. However, satisfying alternatives have not yet been given.

Tok Toks have been seen as double-edged swords. People inhabiting slums, humble regions and even some classy districts think they are comparatively cheap, fast, widespread and available. Although this can all be real, others still believe they are dangerous as the majority of toktoks have been so far unlicensed.

MP Mamdouh al-Husseini, a member of the Parliament's Local Administration Committee, said that some of the Tok Toks' drivers have resorted to such unlicensed vehicles for kidnapping, theft, bullying and terrorism.

He appealed to officials to reduce the costs of licensing toktoks, affirming that the cost of a tok tok's license exceeds LE 7,000 ($394). The price of new tok-toks can range between LE 29,000 ($1,632) to LE 32,000 ($1,801), according to 2018 vehicles' prices, which means that a toktok driver has to pay about 21 percent of his vehicle's price to license it.

Secretary of the Parliament’s Transportation Committee, Khaled Abdel Azeem, criticized the government in February for not taking actual steps to stop toktoks from plaguing Egyptian communities and turning them into slums.

The government could not set up an integrated plan to face the unjustified spread of toktoks, according to Abdel Azeem, although the government has warned repeatedly of the dangers toktoks pose to society.

Abdel Azeem wondered why the government has not applied the Industry Ministry’s 2014 decision to stop importing Tok Toks so as to take the first step towards ending the phenomenon. The ministry had decided in 2014 to ban Tok Tok for a year as it had been used in crimes and terrorist attacks, according to the government.

In November, 2017, a Tok Tok caused the death of seven students when it plunged off a road into a conduit in Beheira governorate, Delta.

In September of the same year, while a police force was patrolling a town in Assiut, it suspected three people on a Tok Tok, the ministry said in a statement. The three men opened fire at the force when it stopped them, according to the ministry. The force returned fire, killing one and wounding another. The third fled.

In the same month, a girl was killed and two others were severely injured after a Tok Tok collided with a passenger train in Dishna, Qena, while trying to pass a railway crossing.

Additional Report with Amr Kandil
 
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