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Okada Riders Arrested: 20 Sentenced   
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Seventy-three commercial motorbike, riders and pillions were arrested in Accra by the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service during an exercise undertaken Tuesday and Monday.

Out of the 73 arrested, 26 were processed for court, out of which 20 were fined between GH¢600 and GH¢1,000.

Two pleaded not guilty, while six of the motorbikes were confiscated.

Last Friday, at a West Africa Security Services Association (WASSA) programme organised by the MTTU, the Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, urged the police to enforce the law banning the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes.

The Traffic Regulation, 2012 (Legislative Instrument 2180) passed by Parliament bans commercial motorbike operations. It also bans the use of television or video monitors on dashboards of moving vehicles.

The instrument further bans the use of cellular phones and other hand-held communication devices while driving.

Popularly called Okada, commercial motorbikes have, over the years, become the means of transportation for many people, especially in the Accra metropolis, because they faster and cheaper.

However, the riders exhibit a lot of indisciplined behaviour on the roads. While most of the operators do not abide by traffic regulations, they also stroll through vehicles, with some using the pavements in their quest to beat traffic.

The Commander of the MTTU, Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr Angwubutoge Awuni, told the Daily Graphic in an interview on Monday that the use of motorbikes for commercial purposes was on the rise, resulting in the death of and injury to people.

Mr Awuni also indicated that most of the motorbikes were used for criminal activities.

“Some of the riders drive through red light and some also drive without crash helmets for themselves or the pillions, practices which expose them to death during an accident,” he said.

He said the exercise was being replicated nationwide to ensure that Okada operations were discouraged.

“Accidents are occurring and lives are being lost every day. It is, therefore, important to ensure sanity on the roads,” he said.

ACP Awuni urged all Ghanaians to get on board to ensure that the exercise was successful.

He also cautioned people in authority not to interfere by pleading on behalf of the operators when they were arrested, adding that that practice limited the work of the police.

Source: Daily Graphic

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