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Tuk-tuks need regulation

Rules around flourishing transport business must be tightened, say authorities

THE flourishing business of tuk-tuks in major cities in France is in need of greater regulation, Paris police say.

Since the first vehicles appeared on the capital’s streets in 2011, police say their numbers has grown five fold.

“There's unemployment everywhere, we find an activity that pleases tourists but we're harassed by the police even although they know that it's in legal limbo,” one driver told the newspaper Direct Matin.

Despite already declaring his business to Urssaf, having insurance, maintaining the vehicle and completing a medical, the driver said he can still fall foul of the law, depending on which law is being applied.

The Paris prefecture has decided to apply regulations for moto-taxis to tuk-tuks and has been carrying out stops during the summer. Cycle taxis are also under scrutiny.

“There is no regulation for transport by bicycle, there is a legal loophole,” said Bernard Baulard of the taxi division of the Paris police.

At the moment the police are limited to stopping them from parking on the pavement.

Drivers of tuk-tuks and bicycle taxis can earn €90-€110 a day and, with fines ranging between €35-€135, many of the are prepared to soak up the punishments.

The head of the group Allo Tuk Tuk Benjamin Maarek said: “We want to be placed on the same rung as the double-decker tourist buses, the bateaux mouches, or the little trains.”

Photo: Flickr/

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