The Deputy Minister of Transport, Nii Titus Glover, has made a strong case for the banning of the use of motorcycles across the country from 9p.m. to 6a.m. as part of measures to crack down on crime.
Mr Glover, who is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Tema East, said the curfew hours would be necessary particularly at a time a number of crimes were committed by criminals on motorbikes during those hours.
He also said while motorbikes helped employed a number of young people, the devastating effect of crashes recorded in some of the country’s major hospitals were a cause of concern, adding that in terms of security and safety it was a major hazard.
According to Mr Glover, given the swift nature of motorcycles, it had been used in committing numerous crimes where the perpetrators disappeared without a trace.
“The criminals use motorcycles a lot to commit crime. I’m suggesting it to the Inspector General of Police who can take it at his level with his team and do a pilot.
“We can start from Greater Accra Region, so that at any particular time from 9p.m., no motorbike should be seen on the road until the following morning. Any motorbike that we see around that odd time should be arrested,” he said at a consultative meeting on the use of motorcycles and tricycles as commercial transport in Ghana.
While admitting that there were areas in the country that people could not do without motorbikes because of difficulties in getting public transport, he said the modalities for using motorbikes in those areas could be defined in order not to restrict mobility of motorbike users.
Road Traffic Regulation
Although Section 128 of the country’s Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (L.I. 2180) prohibits the use of motorcycles for commercial purposes, commercial motorbikes, popularly known as ‘Okada,’ have become an integral part of public transport both in the rural and urban areas where they are highly patronised to beat traffic.
The law also makes the ownership and patronage of motorcycles or tricycles for commercial purposes illegal, making those practices subject to convictions and fines.
However, speaking to the Daily Graphic, the President of the Motor Riders Association, Mr Mark Mormah Martey, disagreed with the deputy minister’s suggestion, saying it would unnecessarily restrict the movement of people who genuinely used the bikes for commuting from home to work and vice versa.
“There are people who use it for daily commute because they have no alternative source of transport. If we can get some emergency pass for those people that will make it easy for them to use their bikes during those hours fine, but a total ban will not be fair,” he said.
The Director of Planning of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Mr David Adonteng, expressed concern about the reckless nature with which motor riders except those in Tamale rode through traffic, while only 30 per cent of them wore helmet.
He stated that the commission’s major concern was individuals when they used the motorbike.
“If sitting on it would create a problem as regards deaths and injuries, automatically, we won’t go for it but we are putting in mechanism to protect the individuals whether we use it for commercial purposes or not. The human being sitting on it should be well protected,” he stated.
The Head of Education, Research, and Training at the MTTD of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Alex Obeng, said while the deputy minister had expressed his opinion, it was not grounded in law, hence the forum provided the opportunity to collate views to submit to the committee working on the review of the law.
He said motorbikes were part of the means of transport that ensured that people enjoyed the freedom of movement as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution while adhering to regulations in terms of registration, licensing, clothing and use.
While a section of the public accuse the police of laxity in enforcing the law that bans motorbikes, Mr Obeng said: “When it started, the motorcycle population was not overwhelming or pronounced as it is today. Our compatriots have found new use for it. Others think the use is prudent and should be allowed. Others think no; it is for Ghanaians to decide,” he said.
Robberies involving motorbikes
Jan 17, 2019
Undercover investigative journalist and a key member of Anas Aremeyaw Anas' Tiger Eye Private Investigations team, Ahmed Hussein-Suale, was shot dead by unidentified men riding a motorbike.
Jan 6, 2019
A suspected robber lost his life when he was hit by a warning shot fired by a police patrol team after he allegedly snatched a mobile phone from a student who was returning home from a party at about 2 a.m. near Manet on the Spintex Road, Accra. The robber was a pillion rider on an unregistered motorbike
Jan 23, 2019
Twelve armed men on a motorbike attacked 49 passengers who were travelling from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region to the Greater Accra Region on a VVIP Bus.
November 2, 2018
A gang of three robbers on a motorbike put fear in the residents of Naboug, a community near Zuarungu in the Upper East Region, when they gunned down a motorbike rider.
Aug 8, 2018
Two armed robbers on motorbike who attacked and robbed two persons at Kanvili-Tuunayili, a suburb of Tamale in the Northern Region, on Sunday, July 29, 2018 were sentenced to a total of 55 years in prison.
February 19, 2018
Two armed men on an unregistered motorbike attacked a mobile money vendor at Madina in broad day light and made away with money.
July 14, 2017
The East Legon Police arrested two young men who robbed an Israeli businessman at East Legon but were knocked off their motorbikes by a taxi driver when they attempted to escape.
May 8, 2017
Suspected armed robbers on a motorbike gunned down a scrap dealer around the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) traffic light at Tema in the Greater Accra Region. The scrap dealer had gone to withdraw money from a bank.
January 23, 2016
Eight motorbike riding young men at about 8.30p.m., trailed two persons on a motorbike from Tudu in Accra Central to the Overhead bridge near the Kwame Nkurmah Circle and robbed them of huge sums of money which they were carrying in two bags.
January 10, 2016
The bravery of a taxi driver led to the arrest of two armed robbers who were escaping from a robbery scene. The Good Samaritan taxi driver managed to knock down the robbers' motorbike as they tried to get away and they ended up in a gutter with broken legs but still shooting from their seated position.
April 1, 2014
Two suspected armed robbers allegedly using motorbike to rob residents of Tema and its environs in the Greater Accra Region were arrested by the Tema Police.
February 4, 2012
About seven armed robbers on a motorbike and in a taxi attacked the United Bank for Africa Branch in Tema Community 4, leaving a policeman and a private security man on duty dead.
August 23, 2011
Three suspected armed robbers, who allegedly used an unregistered motorbike in robbing their victims at Giga near Kwashieman in the Greater Accra Region, were grabbed by the police.
July 23, 2011
An armed robber fleeing a robbery scene together with others in Taifa Burkina was knocked off his motorcycle by a trotro driver when residents raised the alarm.
July 21, 2011
A gang of armed robbers stormed the Accra Shopping Mall branch of Ecobank and took the staff and customers hostage at gunpoint and robbed the bank before taking off on a motorbike.