Okada has gone beyond police control – MTTD

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The Head of Research and Programmes of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Alexander Kwaku Obeng says the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes has gone beyond police control.

Consequently, he has called for policy intervention to deal with the situation, describing the issue as a “challenge across the country.” 

According to him, out of every 100 road related accidents, 30 of them are from motorbike accidents, which often leave victims with critical injuries.

Superintendent Alexander Kwaku Obeng was speaking in an interview with Graphic Online on the risks associated with the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes.

He said from January to December in 2017, 2,190 motorbikes were involved in crushes, and pointed out that as of September this year, 2,538 motorbike crushes have been recorded. 

The use of motorcycles for commercial purposes, popularly called ‘okada’ has been a tug of war between operators and the police since the enactment of the Road Traffic Act 663 of 2004.

On July 4, 2012, parliament unanimously passed the Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (Legislative Instrument (L.I 2180), which inter-alia bans the commercial use of motorbikes. 

The L.I.2180 states that:

1. A person shall not use or permit a motorcycle or tricycle over which that person exercise control to be used for commercial purposes except for courier and delivery service;

2. A person shall not ride on a motorcycle or tricycle as a fare-paying passenger.

Supt. Obeng said lack of understanding between operators and law enforcers often results in confusion, adding that officers of the MTTD as part of sanitisingthe system arrest unlicensed motorriders.

He said the police is doing all it can to stop motorbikes without number plates, insurance, road worthy and people who are not trained or without license from the roads.

He expressed the worry that although the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes have not been legalised in the country, the practice is seen everywhere in the country.

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