Ghana records 589 deaths through motorcycle accidents

By
Emmanuel Todd, GNA

Accra, Nov. 14, GNA
– Ghana, from January to October 2019, has recorded 589 deaths through
motorcycle accidents, a figure likely to increase by the close of the year if
the laws were not strictly enforced.

Mr David Osafo
Adonteng, the Director, Planning and Programme, National Road Safety
Commission, said the figures had been increasing since 2010, which recorded 310
deaths.

Mr Adonteng said
this at a consultative meeting by the Ministry of Transport and the Ghana
Journalists Association (GJA) on whether to ban or legalise the use of
motorcycles and tricycles for commercial purposes.

He said statistics
show that about 60,000 motorbikes were registered by the Driver and Vehicle
Lincensing Authority (DVLA) in 2017, a majority of which were used for
commercial purposes, also known as “Okada.”

He said the Okada
business was growing at a faster rate hence the need for such consultative
engagements to plan the way forward.

“This business has
its own benefits and challenges and the issues must be considered without any
personal sentiments,” he said.

Mrs Mabel Sagoe, the
Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Transport, said the use of motorcycles
and tricycles for commercial purposes in the country was against the Road
Traffic Regulations.

However, efforts
were being made to enforce Regulation 128, which prohibits the practice, she
said.

She said the
maneuvering capabilities of the riders made it difficult for the Police to
apprehend them adding that to distinguish between Okada riders and private
users had equally been a challenge.

Mrs Sagoe said most
Okada riders were indisciplined and lawless, meandering through traffic and
running through red lights.

In spite of these
challenges, research has shown that the commercial motorcycles were, in some
cases, the only means of transport for some communities, serving as a means of
employment, Mrs Sagoe said.

She encouraged the
participants to be proactive in their deliberations and come up with workable
ideas to address the issue.

Mr Roland Affail
Monney, the President of the GJA, said the high figures of fatalities recorded
leaves the nation with the dilemma as to whether or not to legalize their
operations.

“We must be
logical and face the realities in our decisions as a nation because Okada
serves and Okada is a killer,” he said.

GNA

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