The startling revelation that 600 people died through motorcycle crashes from January to October 2019, must be a concern to many Ghanaians.
According to the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), the deaths were due to indiscipline on the part of the riders, as they failed to comply with road traffic regulations, and disregarded traffic lights.
These revelations were made at a forum organised by the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the NRSA to solicit view on whether to legalise or maintain the ban on motorcycles and tricycles from being used for commercial purposes as enshrined in Regulations 128 of Legislative Instrument (L.I) 2180.
The L.I prohibits the use of motorcycles and three wheelers for commercial purposes, except the courier and delivery services. But is that what is happening? No! Several concerns are being raised everyday with the operations of the commercial motorcycles popularly called (Okada) and the tricycles.
Apart from the frightening statistics that show that the death toll of the riders are increasing at an alarming rate, motorcycle crashes are estimated to have contributed to 30 percent of death on the roads.
This is not only alarming but unacceptable for the country to be losing its youth under such tragic circumstances.
Motorcycle transportation and especially for commercial purposes are serving a public need but regrettably, they also contributing to social vices that negate the good services they are expected render.
As would be accepted by majority of Ghanaians, most motorcycle riders have become nuisance, posing threat to the pedestrians and other road users.
Often the “Okada” riders are undisciplined, lawless and run through traffic lights with impunity.
Largely, they have become a major safety and security concern due to their refusal to adhere to safety regulations.
Of much more concern of the public is the crimes associated with “Okada rides.
Without doubt, it is public knowledge that some of these riders commit various crimes against member of the public using the motorbikes.
Although there are virtues the Ghanaian Times can extol about commercial motorcycles and tricycles, we are of the firm conviction that it must not be legalised.
Doing so would be to legalise the lawlessness being perpetrated everyday on the road and the crime being committed by some of them.
We completely reject the idea and call on the government as well as stakeholders to enforce the law banning the “Okada” business and institute a public transport system that would meet the needs of commuters.