Return Of Sanity

Motorists in Accra now drive with relative ease and an overwhelming excitement that they would not be caught in a web of confused motor riders. Above all, they are overwhelmed by a feeling of security, thanks to the repercussions of the recent operation to rid the city of the nuisance caused by mostly young riders who misbehave on the vehicles. We have been driven to comment once more on this subject because the return of normalcy on our roads, for us, is worth receiving such treatment due to the value it commands. After all, when things were bad we said so with such gusto that now that the efforts of the law enforcement agencies � with DCOP Christian Yohunu leading the charge � have registered success, it is only fair that we do so. Driving or even walking in the streets of the city reminds one of the days when there were but a few motorbikes on the streets. We are not expressing a wish for the banning of motorbikes, but indeed many of them are a nuisance and deathtraps for riders, pillion riders and even pedestrians walking on pavements. While some riders leave the main roads and use pavements earmarked for pedestrians, others just ignore traffic regulations and cruise on the streets with reckless abandon � posing danger to other road users. In our last commentary on the subject we called for consistency in the management of motorbikes on our roads, especially in Accra. A story was told about how a lady nearly lost her handbag to two young men on a motorbike. She was saved by the intervention of a Good Samaritan who chanced upon the unfolding robbery. Others were not that lucky and had to let go their handbags or other valuables to riders who cruise with no regard for the consequences of their actions. There are so many motorbikes in the system that we wonder sometimes whether those who patronize them do not pay for the ownership through such taxation like the payment of duties and the like, given the state of unemployment of such owners. When children as young as 14 can mount motorbikes and cruise dangerously along the streets, obviously oblivious of what could befall them should they crash, it behaves us to stop them and pronto. We wish to repeat that the exercise of ridding the streets of unregistered motorbikes and those ridden by underage boys should be a routine police function and not one reserved for special occasions. Since the exercise peaked a few weeks ago and many such rickety motorbikes seized and put under lock and key, many are heaving a sigh of relief. But for how long can this be? For as long as the law enforcement agencies keep their eyes on the roads and on the motorbike riding gangs. It is interesting to note that since the clampdown motorbike-facilitated crimes have subsided somewhat.