Ghana Medical Association kicks against ‘Okada’

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The Vice-President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Frank Serebour, has explained that most of the road accidents in the country is as a result of irresponsible activities of ‘okada’ operators, hence the decision by the NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, to legalise it for commercial purposes must not be encouraged.

Granting an interview on a local radio in Kumasi, Pure FM, he stated that supporting it with the law will not stop the continuous exhibition of lawlessness, such as jumping traffic and flouting road traffic regulations by the riders.

To this end, he has asked the opposition NDC to focus more on addressing pressing issues that confront the country, saying the ‘okada’ legalization isn’t one.

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“What is the meaning of the legalization of okada that we are talking about? It is illegal for them to jump traffic but what do we see? It will be impossible to regulate them. We should not start this. Let’s look at the statistics. Vehicles are in higher numbers in the country but most accidents recorded in the country are from motors (okada). We have a problem. We should be looking at our problems and how to address them as there are clear issues we need to address,” he said.

Better alternative

Meanwhile, on Wednesday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between VW and BlackIvy to embark on the production of affordable homes and affordable cars for the Ghanaian people, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia reiterated government’s stance on the Okada brouhaha, stating emphatically that the Akufo-Addo administration would not legalise what he describes as “risky business” of commercial motorbike in the country.

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He assured the riders of a better alternative of empowering them to purchase brand new cars assembled in the country to engage in a much safer venture.

The Vice-President argued that with the right structures in place, ‘Okada’ operators will be able to buy or lease cars to run much ‘safer’ businesses, as part of governments automobile development drive.

“Their (Okada riders) problem will be the lack of capital, but if they (Transport Sector Recapitalisation Project) bring in new leasing policies and we have our national ID card with our digital addresses and so on, we can have a credit system working and give you an option other than this risky venture,” he added.

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Section 128 (1) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180), states: “The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger.”

 

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