One bane of this country is the lack of political will by our leaders to take bold decisions to once and for all do away with illegalities and impunities in our society.
It gets even more worrying when those impunities are outlawed or are detrimental to society, yet, the law enforcers or security agencies are crippled to take action. The reason for this, most of the time, has been attributed to political expediency.
Because a governing party does not want to incur the wrath of a section of the populace, it tends to keep a blind eye and overlook some of the illegalities in our society. If that is not what it is then why should we still be having commercial motorbike operators, popularly referred to as ‘Okada,’ still plying our roads? They are a nuisance, on our roads and do not respect any of our road safety regulations.
It's as if in this country some of our laws work while others do not apply. We all know that “Okada” operation is illegal in this country. The Police Service knows it too well and once in a while goes in to seize and detain some but sadly, that is how it ends. The Police are very visible these days and they encounter “Okada” riders all the time. They see them abusing all the road safety regulations. Yet, sadly, they feel helpless to do anything to stop “Okada operation in this country.
Over the last few years, we have watched “Okada” operation get out of hand. They are in every corner, every intersection and in communities. We are writing on the above subject because of reports that due to the huge traffic in the capital city, Accra, and the coming Christmas, many commuters are resorting to the use of Okadas to avoid the traffic choke in town. The traffic situation, understandably, has been occasioned by the few days left for the celebration of the Christmas festivities.
It is common knowledge in this country that few days leading up to Christmas, Accra is inundated with huge traffic—both vehicular and human—because shoppers want to buy what they will be needing for the Christmas holidays. It is also a period that Ghanaians travel from far and near to buy Christmas items at the central business district (CBD) of Accra, all culminating in the huge traffic.
It is true that staying in traffic for hours can be nauseating. That however, does not mean that we must not do what is not right in this country. Again, it is equally true that the Okada is faster, cheaper and can get you to and fro, but have we considered the risks involved in using the service?
The dangers posed by these Okada riders to human lives cannot be underestimated. These are seen in the light of lack crash helmets for commuters, not obeying traffic regulations and more important, too, many of the Okada drivers tend to over speed.
It is against the backdrop of the above that we charge the Motor Traffic Transport Department (MTTD) of the Police Service to clamp down on activities of Okada. Apart from the fact that they are unlawful, they are a threat to human lives and property. They jump red lights, they knock pedestrians down, they ride on the wrong side of the road, and they run into vehicles and knock down side mirrors. We need to restore sanity on our roads.
In the view of Today it is about time we took a decisive action on Okada. And that must start now!
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