General News of Tuesday, 25 August 2020
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A road safety expert and transport consultant has said a proposal to legalise the use of motorbikes for use as commercial means of transport (Okada) in the country is a bad one.
Cecil Gabrah believes the promise to legalise and regularise the activity is a political gimmick.
His comments come on the back of a promise by the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, to regulate and legalise Okada if elected as President on December 7, 2020.
Speaking to Joy News, Mr Gabrah said “politicians must not take advantage of their inability to create jobs for the youth and use Okada as bait for votes. That is so wrong in politics and they must stop it.”
According to him, the risk involved in regularising Okada in Ghana is too high.
“In Accra alone we have a lot of very fatal cases. Speak to Korle Bu Teaching and 37 Military Hospital and they will give you the daily statistics of fatalities,” he said.
Proponents of the regularisation and legalisation of Okada say it will create jobs, however, Cecil Gabrah disagrees.
“If you create jobs and people are going to die what are you talking about?” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Public Safety has said a sure way to prevent the associated road accidents with the use of motorbikes as commercial means of transport (Okada) is to move it away from sprawling city centres.
Executive Director of the public safety advocate, Nana Yaw Akwada, told GhanaWeb on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 that reports on Okada-related accidents show that majority of them happen in the busy urban areas.
According to Nana Yaw Akwada, Mr Mahama “must tell us when you say regulating are you going to move them from the city centres? Which is what we at the Bureau prefer; because more than 80% of the deaths associated with the okada cOme from the city centres. And from the commercial spaces, not on our highways or the fringes.”
Ghana’s laws make it illegal for a motorbike or a tricycle (aboboya) to be used as a commercial means of transport, however, for about eight years, their use and popularity have seen sharp rise.
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