THE BAN OF ‘OKADA’ SHOULD BE ENFORCED

Okada-ridersUnder the Road Traffic Act, Act 683 of 2004 and Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180, the commercial use of motor bikes in the country, the popular Okada, is completely illegal.

The law is clear on the Okada operators, who are holding innocent citizens to ransom.

Too many people have suffered in the hands of these operators, either knocked down, robbed, killed or maimed.

Some of the riders themselves have ended up injured or killed, as a result of their carelessness on the road.

The operators have, indeed, thrown caution to the wind, behaving recklessly on our roads and the major highways, all in the attempt to eke out a living and maximize profits.

A case in point is the recent incident in which a pillion passenger was killed at the Neoplan Station rail crossing at the Kwame Nkumah Circle, Accra.

The rider is said to have ignored the ‘Stop’ warning and tried to speed across the rail line, but was not fast enough; and the train hit the motorbike and sent both rider and the passenger crashing into a ditch, killing the passenger on the spot. The rider was severely injured and rushed to the Police Hospital.

Since the unfortunate incident happened, opinion has been divided on the continued operation of commercial motorbikes in defiance of the ban.

Some argue their operations should be regulated, while others maintain the ban must be upheld and enforced to the letter.

It is a fact that Okada is a popular means of transport in such neighbouring countries as Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoré and Nigeria.

However, in those countries, they have well thought-out plans for its operation.

While they have demarcated lanes for the motorbikes movement and adequate protection for the operators, there is no such arrangement in place here.

Thus, until we streamline their operations and eliminate the dangers associated with them, the Times associates itself with those calling for the enforcement of the ban.

Consequent to that, we are urging the law enforcement agencies to ignore the empty shouts from those calling for the legitimisation of the Okada business; they should go after the operators and deal with them, in accordance with the law.

What is not good for the goose should in no way, be good for the gander, period!Okada-riders

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