From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, MTA/SLRTA Plan Big for Okada Riders
By Aruna Turay
May 27, 2010, 17:20

The Ministry of Transport and Aviation (MTA) in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRA) and the Sierra Leone Commercial Motor Bike Riders Union has in a press statement issued on Wednesday 26th May 2010, disclosed plans to streamline operations of commercial motor bike riders (Okada) in Sierra Leone.

According to the statement, the three bodes has unanimously resolved to streamline the riderís operations especially those plying the city and main town within the country.

The release states that a color code would be given to all commercial motor bikes and the distinguishing markings of commercial bike riders and pillion riders, crash helmets and reflective vests, adding that all commercial motorcycles must be properly registered and licensed at the Road Transport Authority for use as commercial motorcycles only. Additionally, the release states that a refreshers course would be organized for all commercial motorcycle riders by the Police and the Road Transport Authority at the Police Training School (PTS) Hastings, furthering that all bikes currently arrested by the Sierra Leone Police and kept in custody at the Police Training School at Hastings will be released on the accomplishment of all conditions relating to proper registration, licensing, marking of bikes, helmets and riders vests, and the issue of riders licenses to the riders.

It could be recalled that a good number of cases reported in most of the hospitals are as a result of motor bike accident. Though this form of transportation has been very contributing especially to residents of the city, on the contrary, due to lack of regulations and control from the above mentioned stakeholders, the system has to a large extent expedite disadvantage to pedestrians. It is of no secret that Okada riders plying the streets of Freetown are doing so to the detriment of passengers, owing to the fact that they ply without using crash helmets, license and above all over speeding and rough riding.

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