NRSC kicks against regulation of ‘Okada’ business
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) on Monday urged government not to legalise the ‘Okada’ business (Unapproved motorbike taxis) as it would be difficult to regulate its activities.
Mrs Mary Obiri –Yeboah, Director of Planning and Programmes at NRSC made the appeal when members of the commission paid a courtesy on Mr Julius Debrah, Greater Accra Regional Minister.
She said motorcycle fatalities are becoming very frightening as it has increased from 44 in 2001 to 313 in 2011.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah said, with the commercialisation of motorcycles, more people are going to buy the facility and the traffic situation is going to be chaotic as it is happening in some West African countries like Nigeria and Benin.
“Okada operations also encourages criminal activities against passengers and other road users such as robbery and rape and unfortunately, there are no training centres in Ghana for motorcyclists where one can seek training in safe riding (and) drill,” she said.
She therefore urged government to enforce Legislative Instrument 2180 which prohibits the use of motorcycle or tricycle for commercial purposes.
Mrs Obiri-Yeboah denied media report that Ghana was ranked third in the world as accident prone country, saying, out of 30 countries in Africa in 2007, Ghana ranked 11.
She said the NRSC has developed National Road Safety Strategy III with the objective of stabilising trend in persons killed and seriously injured by 2015.
It focussed on pedestrians and bus occupants and saved 10,000 lives and 70,000 injuries.
She said NRSC has also launched a pedestrian safety campaign dubbed “Be Alert” to increase awareness of the pedestrian by calling upon every road user to look out for each other while in traffic.
Mr Noble John Appiah, Executive Director of NRSC called for collaboration from political leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders to promote road safety in the country and put an end to the number of deaths that are being recorded through road accident.
He also urged government to inco-operate road safety into developmental plans of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies.
Mr Julius Debrah, Regional Minister commended the NRSC for its decision to partner the Ghana Education Service to inco-operate road safety into the curricula of basic schools, saying it is the beginning of the solution to the road safety challenges.
He promised to liaise with the NRSC to promote road safety in the region.