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12 February 2017

MPs worried over road carnage, injuries

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Members of Parliament (MPs) have called for the enforcement of road traffic regulations to drastically reduce the spate of motor accidents and the consequent deaths and injuries in the country.

They again charged the Ghana National Roads Safety Commission (GRSC) to intensify education on road traffic regulations, and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to enhance its learner testing regime, to ensure that only qualified drivers were issued licences.

Road traffic regulations

The MPs made the call yesterday in response to a statement made by the MP for Afigya Sekyere East, Ms Mavis Nkansah Boadu, on the need to enforce road traffic and motor regulations.

She expressed concern about broken down vehicles that are left on the shoulders of the road, wrongful parking, refusal of pedestrians to use footbridges, littering of roads and lawlessness of some motorcycle riders.

Ms Boadu was particularly concerned about the indiscipline and lawlessness of commercial motorbike riders, popularly know as ‘Okada’, who continued to flout the Road Traffic Act.

“The use of motorcycles for commercial purposes is dangerous. The operations of these Okada riders are adversely affecting the nation in diverse ways; no tax obligations, the use of illegal routes and other anti-social behaviours,” she said.

Ms Boadu proposed that the laws prohibiting the Okada riders from operating must be reviewed “to ensure that we generate the needed benefits from their operations.”

Other contributions

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, said ensuring discipline on the roads was a shared responsibility among motorists, commuters and the police.

He asked the police to focus on the security of drivers and shun the inclination to make money on the roads.

Mr Iddrisu called for the improvement of road infrastructure and road worthiness of vehicles.

He also called for the regularisation of the operations of Okada riders to streamline their operations.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, said the problem of road traffic accidents was not about legislation, but rather the lax in the enforcement of laws.

For instance, she said, many drivers engaged in reckless driving while pedestrians refused to use footbridges on highways, but the laws did not catch up with them.

The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, who is a former Chief Executive Officer of the DVLA, pointed out that the country’s laws did not permit the use of motorbikes for commercial activities.

He suggested, however, that the motor riders should be given licences as commercial operators as it pertained in other countries.

The MP for Ledzokuku, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye, asked for measures to be taken to end the carnage on the roads.

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