Motorists and pedestrians in Accra have varying testimonies to render about what they have suffered and continue to do at the hands of unruly motorcyclists. The testimonies are anything but complimentary, and they attest to the level of indiscipline on our roads, motorcyclists being contributors.
Although since the police started implementing their anti-indiscipline campaign against riders there has been a steady decline of sorts in the number of related accidents, which is good, more needs to be done.
We are excited that the new campaign has taken an unusual feature of police riders trailing traffic light jumpers and others involved in other traffic infractions to their final destinations and arresting them. We only hope that there would be consistency in the campaign and no interference from some quarters, which can dampen the resolve of law enforcement personnel.
Motorcycle accidents have claimed hundreds of lives across the country, but in Accra where the commercialisation of this means of transport system is now a major feature on our roads, the subject has become even more worrying.
We have now come to accept commercial motorcycling or okada as part of our private transport system regardless of the law outlawing it. This acceptance has come with its challenges because many of the riders apart of not being conversant with traffic regulations do not also have the skills to ensure their own safety and pillion riders.
It is a known fact that pillion riders suffer most injuries and even fatalities than the riders, yet this new feature on our intracity roads has hardly been checked; the way we are seeing it in recent times is however encouraging. A story in this issue points at the arrest of 250 motorbikes in Accra and these are said to have committed one of the most perilous traffic offences – jumping red lights at traffic intersections.
It is amazing that pillion riders even encourage the main riders to speed on and even jump red lights, when that is a dangerous thing to do under the circumstances.
The impression sometimes we get is that motorbikes motorised as they and almost at par with automobiles are not subject to traffic regulations and so can jump red lights with reckless abandon.
Sometimes they use pedestrian pavements, and persons walking on these places earmarked for those walking to use give them way lest they are knocked down.
There must be a halt to such indiscipline, a campaign to stop the trend, which is a shared responsibility between law enforcement and others.
There are still many motorbikes in Accra with no registration numbers and, therefore, difficult to trace in case of accidents, which are rampant. The young men who ride motorbikes often flee accident scenes when they are able to, and with no registration numbers, they cannot be traced. These constitute some of the indiscipline on the part of motorcyclists in Accra especially. We expect the police to change the tide and restore sanity on our roads.