Broward News

Fort Lauderdale Rickshaws Are Safer and More Plentiful... Though Not Yet "Pimped"

The fleet of rickshaws along Las Olas Boulevard and A1A is about to double, according to the Sun-Sentinel. City commissioners green-lighted the increase in people-powered chariots on Tuesday. But with everything over the top (especially transportation) in South Florida, these humble vehicles, though charming, have a lot of unrealized potential.

A horn or a bell is required under new safety laws, but Fort Lauderdale would also be a perfect place to showcase the bells and whistles of a select set of "pimped" rickshaws across the globe in India, arguably the rickshaw capital of the world.

If expansion is the first wisp of a burgeoning SoFla rickshaw culture, here's a glimpse at how far people can take the fascination with the three-wheeled vehicles. Check out the website of an India-based company, Pimp My Shaw. These rickshaws have engines, but that point aside, ours would still lend themselves perfectly to upgrades like metallic paint, undercarriage lights, a musical horn, plush animal-print seats, and a fridge.

Nothing says SoFla quite like a blingin' rickshaw.

Even more extreme is the Indian Rickshaw Challenge:

The Rickshaw Challenge invites participants into the heart of India, where you'll traverse every possible micro climate; from metropolis, tropical jungle, arid desert, ancient valleys and the epic coastline known the world over as, "God's own country." You'll do all this in a three-wheeled vehicle with a two stroke engine: The Auto Rickshaw. This is an "Amazing Race for the Clinically Insane." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Though it's unlikely Fort Lauderdale will ever advance to these rickshaw extremes, the local government has at least ramped up safety. Companies are required to carry $1 million in liability insurance, alcohol is prohibited, and drivers are forbidden from using cell phones when transporting customers. Headlights, taillights, and a horn or bell are also required, according to the Sentinel. Now that safety regulations have wisely been kicked up a notch, how about our 'shaws?

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Leslie Minora