The Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) yesterday rounded up more than 20 Okada operators for operating without licence moments after their leadership had made a presentation to Parliament.
Justifying the arrest in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Commander of the MTTU, ACP Angwubutoge Awuni, said the country's motor traffic laws made no provisions for the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes, hence any attempt to justify that could not stand the test of the law.
Mr Awuni said all those arrested would be processed for court today and warned that the police would not relent in its effort to rid the roads of Accra of illegalities.
The MTTU Commander pledged to strictly enforce the law prohibiting the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes.
Reacting to the decision by Okada operators to petition Parliament on the matter, he said the law was explicit that motorbikes could not be used for commercial purposes and reiterated that the MTTU would continue to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in the venture.
“So far as we are concerned, we are just enforcing what is in our statute books, but if Parliament repeals or amends the law, then we will have no choice but to comply. But, until then, we will continue to do what the law mandates us to do, even if they (the operators) describe it as harassment,” he said.
ACP Awuni said in an interview that he was going to make a proposition to the courts for the MTTU to be allowed to burn the seized motorcycles.
Burning them up, for him, would serve as a deterrent to those who disregarded the laws and used their motorcycles to transport people for money.
The MTTU boss insisted that his men did not seize every motorcycle, except those being used for commercial purposes.
He said before his men confiscated a motorcycle, they made absolutely sure that it was being used for commercial purposes, as they would have gone undercover to fish for the right information.
ACP Awuni’s insistence comes on the heels of public outcry over claims that anyone seen by the police riding a motorcycle is stopped and the motorcycle confiscated, with no checks on its licensing details.
He emphasised the fact that most of the motorbikes were not even insured to carry passengers, putting people’s lives in danger.
He said most pedestrian accidents were the result of motorcycles hitting pedestrians on the walkways when their riders used the pedestrian walkways.