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Arrest Okada Riders - Minister   
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The Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, has urged the police to enforce the law banning the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes.

She said the police must arrest both the motor riders and the pillions as part of measures to check the increasing rate at which motorbikes were being used for commercial purposes (otherwise known as Okada), resulting in the death of and injury to people.

Mrs Attivor was speaking at the end-of-year get-together, also known as WASSA, of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service on Friday.

WASSA is an annual event organised to review and evaluate past events to enable the unit to improve on its performance. As part of the event, hardworking and long-serving officers were rewarded with certificates, hampers and household items.

Mrs Attivor advised the police to apprehend drivers who drove and used cellular phones at the same time.

In 2012, Parliament passed the Road Traffic Regulation, 20I2 (Legislative Instrument 2180), which bans the use of cellular phones and other hand-held communication devices while driving.

Commercial motorbike operations and the use of television or video monitors on dashboards of moving vehicles are also banned by the L.I. 2180.

The Transport Minister said ruthless enforcement of the law would deter the patronage of Okada.

In his address, the Commander of the MTTU, ACP Angwubytoge Awuni, said the unit was prepared to arrest Okada riders, adding that the Okada was one of the emerging traffic indisciplines on the road.

He said there was a reduction in the number of people killed through road accidents in 2012, compared with 2011. In 2012, 2,249 deaths were recorded through road crashes, compared with 2,330 in 2011.

ACP Awuni cautioned MTTU personnel to abide by the rules and regulations of the unit because punitive measures would be meted out to any officer found to be on the wrong side of the law.

“The Police Headquarters is going hi-tech to arrest indisciplined officers whose conduct is at variance with good practice,” he said.

He urged the personnel to go all out in their enforcement activities as the command had earmarked 2013 as an eventful year.

“We can be firm, vigorous and robust during enforcement without fear or favour within the margins of the law,” he said.

Outlining some of the challenges facing the unit, ACP Awuni said it had inadequate human resource and limited enforcing tools.

ACP Awuni called on the Police Headquarters to organise the MTTU command structure to enhance better policy direction and uniformity.

“The major administrative constraint is the disorganised command structure. In one moment the Police Headquarters declares the unit operationally autonomous; in another, it is said to be decentralised,” he said.
Source: Daily Graphic

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