‘Let’s look at road safety in the specifics’ – Ashai Odamtten

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Road Safety

Road Safety measures should not only be situated within the national context, but should consider the specifics in districts and constituencies for effective management, Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency has stated.

He therefore called on the National Road Safety Commission and its stakeholders to change the dynamics of road safety campaign, stressing that situating the road safety issues only within the national context would lead to leaving some critical issues that were specific for peculiar constituencies and districts out.

Mr Odamtten who stated at the Ghana News Agency-Tema Regional Office and Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) road safety campaign platform, said having a flat rate for vehicle insurance was not the best.

The GNA-Tema road safety campaign is a continuous educational platform given to stakeholders to speak to their constituents on how best to contribute to making the country’s road safer and crash free.

He emphasized that “the national statistics will speak to certain things, the national situation may be general, but what is happening in Tema for example, and even within the Tema catchment area and even what is happening within Tema East, you can find a sharp dichotomy between the situation in Tema East and Tema Central.”

Mr Odamtten who is a former Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer, added that the national economy had changed and therefore would require a change in approach to Ghana’s road safety issues.

Using Tema East as an example, he said ‘pragya’ which is a tricycle serving as a mini taxi, had become a major interplay in the transportation system within Tema Newtown, which he acknowledged might not be allowed within Tema Central.

He said when looking at the peculiar issue of the usage of pragya in Newtown, to ensure that they operated within the laws, his office in collaboration with the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) organized training for over 30 of such riders.

The Tema East MP added that through that they put in place systems to help and not only educate the riders, but also assist them to go through training, so that they could procure drivers’ licenses to ensure that the recalcitrant ones in their midst were weeded out, while ensuring that the roads were kept safe for other users.

Touching on the usage of motorcycle popularly known as okada for commercial purposes in specific communities, he said Ghana’s road safety issues must be comprehensive enough to take into account current economic exigencies that were pushing the dynamics in transportation.

According to him, the uneasy generalization of the use of okada due to some miscreants’ activities was not the best, saying they should be able to identify those who do evil with the motorbikes and deal with them.

“The reason why I am saying this is that, sometimes people are arrested and even if they produce legitimate documents, they are still hauled to the police station.

“It beats my imagination why we would want to do that, because you have not only delayed the person unduly and causing the person some economic losses, but also putting undue pressure on the rider who feels he has not committed any offence,” he said.

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