FILE: Toktok
FILE: Toktok

Toktoks to be licensed to control its crimes: MP

Sun, Dec. 9, 2018
CAIRO – 9 December 2018: As dozens of Egyptians make their living from the three-wheeled vehicles known as "Toktoks", the Parliament decided to license the vehicles and to provide the drivers with insurance, according to Mohamed Ismail, a member of the Housing Committee.

During his phone interview on Al-Hadas El-Youm, Ismail remarked that putting a license plate on Toktokswill enable the police to track any crime that could be caused by them and arrest theviolators.

He added that they will run along fixed routes and no more toktokswill be imported from abroad.

Toktoks 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 toktoksare so far unlicensed, and can consequently be used in committing crimes.

A toktok is a common form of urban transportation. It is a development of the still available two-wheeled pulled rickshaw by which a runner draws a cart with a seat for one or two people. It is believed the pulled rickshaw was invented by Japan in the 19th century. Rickshaws then appeared in India, China and other big cities in Asia.
Bad record

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 toktoks so as to take the first step towards ending the phenomenon. The ministry had decided in 2014 to ban toktoks for a year as it had been used in crimes and terrorist attacks, according to the government.

In November 2017, a toktok 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 toktok, 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 toktok collided with a passenger train in Dishna, Qena, while trying to pass a railway crossing.

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo warned its citizens who were visiting Sri Lanka in June 2017 to avoid travelling alone in toktoks after a spate of sexual harassment complaints.

"The U.S. Embassy in Colombo has been made aware of an increase in incidents involving toktok drivers in the Colombo area inappropriately touching female passengers," the embassy said in a statement.
 
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