Titus Glover: Ban ‘okada’ riding from 9pm to 6am …to reduce crime

A Deputy Minister of Transport, Titus Glover is advocating a ban on motorcycle riding from 9:00pm to 6:00am the next day as a measure to control crime rate in the country.

According to him, although motorcycles have become an important means of transportation and serves as source of livelihood to operators, “there are several reports of criminals in some municipalities including Ashaiman using the motorcycle to undertake unlawful activities, especially at night.”

Such a ban, he said, would support efforts by the police to check crime activities in the various communities and make it easier for persons engaged in crime to be accosted.

Mr Glover was speaking at a one-day consultative meeting on the use of motorcycles and tricycles for commercial ventures in Accra yesterday.

It was attended by about 100 stakeholders including representatives of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Greater Accra Region, Ministry of Transport, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), road safety organisations, Okada Riders Association, personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service and among others.

The meeting was the first of other regional consultative gatherings on the commercial operation of motorcycles and tricycles.

“The importance of these commercial motorcycles and tricycles cannot be understated. First, it has become an important means of transportation in several parts of the country. Again, the motor riders also earn some money to be able to cater for themselves and their beneficiaries. In this regard, we need to have a relook at the regulations and whether or not they can operate or not,” the Deputy Minister stated.

Recent statistics from the NRSC which state that fatalities from motorcycle crashes have surged from 200 in 2010 to 400 in 2017, he said requires that urgent attention was given the commercial use of motorcycle in the country.

Presenting a study on commercial motorcycle operation in the country, David Adonteng, Director of Planning and Programmes, NRSC, noted that less than 30 per cent of motorcycle riders and less than 10 per cent of pillion riders wear crash helmets respectively.

Excessive speeding and overloading by motorcycle riders, he said was very common.

Although they were currently in operation, he said the use of motorcycle for commercial purposes was against regulation 128 of L.I 2180 (Road Traffic Regulation, 2012) which “prohibits the use of motorcycles and three-wheelers for commercial purposes, except for courier and delivery services.”

The implementation and enforcement of the regulation has been challenging due to its nationwide use and their registration and payment of annual fee by some MMDAs, Mr Adonteng stated.

Fatau Ali, a representative of the Okada Riders Association, appealed to government to consider a review of the regulation to enable commercial use of motorcycle as it was “a means of survival” for many youths.

“Currently, it is difficult to get a job in the country. For us, we depend on the motorcycle to provide for ourselves and our families. We want to work with the authorities to make things right so we can operate without any problem,” he said.

The Association, he said, would continue to sensitise riders to observe traffic regulations and report people who use their motorcycles for criminal activities to the police.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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