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Legalizing ‘Okada’ Operations Remains Off the Table, Says Road Safety Authority

Despite proposed legalization, road safety body stands firm on 'Okada' Ban

In recent discussions around introducing electric motorbikes for commercial passenger services, the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has reiterated that such operations, commonly known as ‘Okada,’ remain unlawful in Ghana.

The NRSA’s stance comes days after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, unveiled plans to legalize and promote the use of electric motorbikes for commercial purposes if elected president. Mahama argued that the electric bikes would be a cost-effective alternative to the existing fuel-powered engines used for ‘Okada’ services.

However, the Director-General of the NRSA, Engineer David Osafo Adonteng, emphasized that the current legal framework prohibits the use of motorcycles and tricycles for commercial passenger transportation. Speaking at the launch of the 2024 Road Safety Easter Campaign, Adonteng clarified that the regulations only permit the use of such vehicles for delivery or courier services.

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“The law is what we are going with, and in Ghana, the regulations provide that motorcycles or tricycles cannot be used for commercial passenger purposes,” Adonteng stated. “You can only use them for delivery or courier services, and that is acceptable by law, and that is what we are enforcing.”

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The NRSA chief added that the authority has been engaging with some motor rider associations, training and sensitizing them on road safety measures. He noted that this approach has led to a significant reduction in the contribution of motorcycles and tricycles to road fatalities.

While acknowledging the potential for future policy changes, Adonteng emphasized that the NRSA’s current stance aligns with the existing Road Traffic Regulations LI 2180. “If someone says they will regularize their activities or accept them, let us get there, but for now, we are enforcing what has been provided by the Road Traffic Regulations,” he concluded

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