Checks by Today indicate that commercial motorbike operators popularly known as ‘Okada have started taking over a large chunk of the commercial transport services sector in the capital city.

These Okada drivers usually operate around the central business district (CBD), Agbogbloshie Abossey-Okai and the General Post Office areas where their services are massively patronised.

However, motorbikes, according to motor traffic laws in the country, were licensed to be used exclusively for private purposes and therefore making it unlawful for any person to use them for commercial purposes.
That notwithstanding, records from the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of Ghana Police Service indicate that about 148 motorbikes were involved in crashes nationwide in January alone this year.

The report indicated that about 62 of the crashes were recorded in the Greater Accra Region, mostly from Okada drivers.

Today, in an interview with some users of the Okada, contend that they patronise Okada due to the heavy nature of traffic within the capital with some of them hinting that they have at present virtually done away with public transport (tro-tro).

Some of these Okada passengers said though they knew about the risks involved in using the motorbikes, they had no choice, adding that it was more convenient and faster.

They also intimated that though the cost of travelling on the Okada was quite expensive compared to public transport, they were prepared to defy all odds so long as it took them to their work places on time.

This paper also observed that users of the Okada were always put at risk due the fact that only the driver wore protective helmets; there were several incidents where neither the driver nor the passengers wore helmets.

Today again learnt that apart from the private use of motorcycles, they are restricted for usage by licensed ‘A’ holders only; most of these Okada drivers however were without license alongside without registered number plates.

The capital city, this paper can confirm is now inundated with the dangers of motor cycle usage with no single day passing without collusions between motorbike riders users, pedestrians and vehicles; most of these motorbike riders disregard road traffic regulations at the glaring sight of law enforcement agencies.

STORY: ACHINAKE FATAW

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