Friday, 30 September 2011


Author's note:

This piece is dedicated to Ms. Muniratu Karim, whose recounting of her experiences dodging selfish motorcyclists on her way home to McCarthy Hill - whenever she is forced to walk home from Kaneshie ("First light") because of the unavailability of public transport - inspired this piece.

Like many ordinary people, I share her sense of outrage that the lives of law-abiding citizens, going about the entirely lawful business of walking on pavements, can be put at risk on a daily basis by selfish and reckless motorcyclists, breaking the law with complete impunity. Please read on:

Of late, there has been an increase in the number of near-fatal and fatal accidents, in which law-abiding individuals walking on pavements designed specifically for usage by pedestrians, as a safety measure, have been knocked down and either badly wounded or even killed, by speeding motorcycle riders unlawfully using such pavements (and invariably carrying fare-paying pillion riders too - an illegal enterprise known as "Okada taxi" apparently).

That stretch of the Kaneshie-Mallam highway's central reservation meant for pedestrians, from Odorkor to Mallam junction, is particularly notorious for its utilisation by defiant "Okada" motorcycle riders - who speed along them in their haste to make the return journey: and pick up yet another fare-paying pillion rider, especially during the early morning and late evening rush-hour periods.

The question is: Why does the Odorkor District Command of the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, not devote some of its energies to preventing such lawless behaviour by those "Okada" riders?

The shocking disregard of road regulations by motorcycle riders nationwide, who carry on as if those regulations do not apply to them, gives one the distinct impression that that part of officialdom that deals with the enforcement of road regulations, simply isn't up to the task.

For example, day in day out, motorcycle riders jump red traffic lights across our homeland Ghana without any sanctions being applied against them - and sometimes right in front of police MTTU officers.

The ordinary people of Ghana are completely fed up to the back teeth with the lawlessness they see around them on a daily basis. Is there no one in charge of the Republic of Ghana, at all?

Those we elect to run the affairs of our nation must sit up - and give us leadership that is world-class: and is felt right across our homeland Ghana.

Let us see an example of such effective leadership, which will result in an abrupt halt to the lawlessness that has led to motorcyclists killing pedestrians on the central reservation of the Kaneshie-Mallam road from Odorkor to Mallam junction - and elsewhere in the country.

One hopes the hard-of-hearing members of our nation's political class, whom Ghanaians are currently lumbered with as their rulers, will take some action on behalf of ordinary people for a change - by ordering the Odorkor Police MTTU District Command to live up to its responsibilities, in this regard.

It is time motorcyclists were made to understand that pavements are reserved for pedestrians - and that all Ghana's road regulations apply equally to car drivers and motorcyclists alike, nationwide. A word to the wise...

Tel (Powered by Tigo - the one mobile phone network in Ghana that actually works!): + 233 (0) 27 745 3109.
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