Prof. John Gatsi Writes... John Mahama To Regularize Okada?
Many people have died through accidents and carelessness by Okada riders in Ghana. According to the National Road Safety Authority 27.7% of road accidents linked to Okada. The question is has it been easy to stop Okada? No. Can we change our approach? Yes.
The truth is that Okada is the main means of transportation for many rural communities. Okada gives employment to many youths throughout the country.
However, compliance with road traffic regulations, respect for other road users and safety is a problem largely in southern Ghana. In the northern part of Ghana, there is high respect for traffic regulations, respect for other road users among others by Okada riders.
The Okada phenomenon is clearly a developmental challenge. Our policymakers should deal with it to make it better. It is possible to make it better to maintain jobs, incomes and help the riders to obey road traffic regulations and ensure safety.
To regulate means develop forward looking laws that make it compulsory to go through series of training before one qualifies to ride. It also gives opportunity to assess the individual to keep records of movement to improve security in communities.
Regulating Okada means maintaining jobs and stop the “killings” associated with Okada. Regulating Okada means accepting that Okada is proper job with respect for our young people in line with progressive rules.
Regulating Okada is NOT about promoting a bad thing. It is about ensuring the right thing is done. It is a bold step to face one of our developmental challenges to ensure protection for those who use Okada.
The willingness by a political party to address a developmental challenge such as Okada to help achieve some of the sustainable development goals is appropriate.
It is good, this policy is based on engagement with Okada riders, some civil society organizations, Chiefs and parliamentarians from areas where Okada use is high.
The regulation will help the National Road Safety Authority, DVLA and the Police to be guided to better handle Okada related matters to maintain order in our communities.
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