The Head, Accident, Emergency and Orthopaedic Department, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Dr Frederick Kwarteng, has called for total ban on commercial motorcycle riders (Okada) to tame rising rate of accidents and casualties in the country and Accra in particular.
In an interview, the leader of Ghana Medical Association (GMA) said “Until government implements policies to regulate the use of motor bikes especially for commercial purposes, it should ban their operations to save lives. This is what we want.”
According to him, “The ban had become necessary as the number of road traffic accidents caused by Okada men kept becoming rampant, and got worse during the Christmas festive season.
“And this is causing the victims to lose their lives, legs and arms, brains, wealth and entire social life,” he said.
Statistics rolled out by Dr Kwarteng showed that “From December 21, 2019 to January 1, 2020, the Department admitted 79 vehicle accident victims, 58 motorcycle accident victims and one bicycle accident victim.
“On January 2, 2020 as at the 1300 hours, the Department had admitted one vehicle accident victim and four motorcycle accident victims.
“I believe if law enforcement agencies were unable to enforce traffic regulations, Okada riders should be banned entirely as their accident cases were as a result of recklessness and disrespect for road traffic regulations.
“The traffic light says red and he crosses speeding and riding recklessly. People use motorbikes in some jurisdictions and even in the North but we don’t hear about such injuries. But in Accra, it is often recorded because they are not being controlled, and even choose to create their own paths through traffic,” he said.
Continuing, he recalled also that “December 22 to 23, 2019, 30 road traffic accident cases were recorded out of which 20 were serious Okada related cases. Some of the victims had crushed bones, fractures, severe wounds, head injuries and traumas.”