wpid-motorbike-thief.jpgThe difficulties involved in commuting to and from our workplaces have engendered a boom in motorbike business in Accra and many rural communities across the country.

The increase in vehicular population in the country is not matching the expansion in the road network, resulting in traffic jams on all major roads in the country, especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

What has become known as ?okada? was commonplace in neighbouring countries such as Togo, Benin and Nigeria a few years ago. Very adventurous Ghanaians who travelled to those countries have interesting experiences to share about their rides on motorbikes, which are used by majority of the citizens there.

Ghana has resisted the operations of motorbikes for commercial business by passing legislation to outlaw the use of ?okada? on our roads.

Many of these riders ply their trade without the use of helmets, leaving onlookers to wonder why the police are not able to arrest the operators for riding unlicensed motorbikes and refusing to use helmets.

However, the police have decided to wake up from their ?slumber? to restore sanity in the operations of ?okada? and other motorbikes.

The Accra Regional Police Command yesterday impounded about 1,440 in a special exercise to deal with those using motorbikes to commit crime.

The Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commander of Police (DCOP) Mr Christian Tetteh Yuhonu, said the ?exercise has become necessary because of the series of crimes committed by men riding on motorbikes. Many Ghanaians have suffered at the hands of some of these riders?.

The Daily Graphic hopes that the police will use this major clampdown on ?okada? and other riders of motorbikes to get them to conform to road traffic regulations.

Again, the police should be ruthless with those found to have breached the law of the land concerning the use of motorbikes, especially those riding unregistered motorised vehicles.

We know that on some of the occasions that the police had clamped down on unregistered motorbikes, opinion leaders in our communities had inundated the police with requests for the release of the motorbikes and those arrested for breaching the law.

It is our wish that this exercise by the police would provide the opportunity for the government to pronounce on the use of ?okada? on our roads in the wake of the legislation that prohibits its use.

Some opinions support the use of motorbikes for commercial transport business, but if as a people we think the circumstances require that we regulate the use of ?okada?, it is about time we stopped burying our heads in the sand and instead repeal the regulation and join Nigeria, Togo and Benin in the free-for-all ?okada? business.

We salute the police for taking the fight to control crime to ?okada? riders as well. However, we urge them to keep the heat on them until the riders conform to road traffic regulations.

Daily Graphic Wednesday, 16 April 2014


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