Modern Ghana, December 20, 2022
CUTS International Accra, a leading public policy, advocacy and consumer protection organization in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and other road transport sector stakeholders have engaged with motor riders popularly called ‘Okada’ riders and all road user, to strictly adhere to road safety measures to reduce road accidents during the Christmas festivities.
Addressing them, at a town hall meeting in Accra, The West African Regional Director, Mr Appiah Kusi Adomako, underscored the need for effective collaboration among all stakeholders to help deal with the triggers of road crashes among motor riders.
“The CUTS International is a research policy think tank, and we have realized that over the last 10 years, there has been an increase in the use of motorcycles in the city of Accra, and this has also resulted in a lot of casualties on the road. We need to tackle this well to save lives,” he said.
Mr Adomako added that while it was difficult to do away with the use of motorbikes because of the way the city had been planned, it was important to create a safer environment for them to move about.
“We condemn them without understanding them. Sometimes, their services become so invaluable that we need them. We should not be hailing them when we need them and condemn them when we do not need them,” he said.
In a presentation, the Director, Planning and Programmes at the NRSA, Daniel H.Wuaku, said the intensification of education for motorcycle riders was crucial as records at the authority had shown that 98 per cent of motor bike users suffered injuries during accidents.
Mr Wuaku said the increasing use of motorcycles in the country had been motivated by rising urbanization, unregulated motorcycles usage, relatively cheaper cost of motorcycles and reduced mobility because of traffic congestion.
He noted that although the use of motorcycles had helped to fill a gap in the transport space, the increasing spate of crashes and fatalities involving motorbikes coupled with environmental pollution and traffic management issues were of grave concern.
The Director of Education, Research and Training at the Motor Traffic and Transport Division (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Supt Alexander Obeng, explained that the introduction of the Police Action against Rider Indiscipline (PAARI), by the police, for example, was yielding good fruits as issues of indiscipline among motorcycle riders had started reducing.
“They work with digital camera and scanners to gather evidence on the activities of motorcycle users,” he said. He urged motorbike riders to adhere strictly to traffic regulations, especially as the Christmas season approached.
He said the police administration had deployed designated officers under the PAARI initiative to enforce discipline among motorcycle riders at targeted hotspots for road crashes in Accra and other parts of the country.
For his part, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Motor Riders Association, Pascal Sitsoafia Quarshie, called on members of the public to stop the negative perceptions they had about motor riders.
He said instead of condemning them, efforts should rather be made to mainstream motor riding into the country’s transport system.
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