Traffic policing reform urgent -Supt Obeng

The use of motorcycles for commercial activity has become a topical campaign issue in 2020 general elections.

Using motorcycles “Okada” for commercial activities is illegal.

 The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has promised to legalize it even though it had earlier on in 2012 banned it.

Road Traffic Regulations Acts 2012, section 128 (1) states that “The licensing authority shall not register a motorcycle to carry a fare-paying passenger”.

While some groups such as doctors are against its legalization, the proposal has received support from ‘okada’ operators.

But commenting on the debate of whether to legalize it or not, Head of Education, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Motor Traffic Transport Department at the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Alexander Obeng said any proposed legalization must be preceded by structural reforms in motor traffic policing.

“There must be an amendment of the law, procedures on safety protocols, procedures of enforcement, training and licensing and operations…trafficking police, you don’t just come with the same policing strategy that has been there since 1952”

“Human beings are sitting on it, they can put up all sorts of behaviors that can contravene with the law and safety procedures, so we need to back it up with automate traffic enforcement efforts”

“So that even if there is no police officer present, there is also a system that is observing, capturing and using such information in reaching out on who was using which vehicle at what time” he noted.

He said, even though the world was moving towards more safer mobility like bicycling, walking, and the use of transit systems, circumstances in Ghana (road networking) calls for the use of motorcycles.

” It is established that motorcycle use is pronounced as it is affordable, accessible as compared to motor vehicles so if we are at a truce of whether to legalize it or not then we need to look at countries that have best practices” he added

He agreed the use of motorcycles for commercial use cannot be banned, therefore, there must be  legislation, procedures, regulations to guide its legalization

“There must be procedures of enforcement, how do you ensure that motorcycles are constructed for that purpose, where to operate, where to move to, who to pick …all these things who should supervise and institutionally who should supervise, build that capacity” he quizzed.

He stressed that “there must be legislation on internal enforcement in terms of licensing and exist, punishment and external restrictive stringent enforcement” he said on TV3’s Key Points monitored by theghanareport.com



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