THE MOTOR BIKE: A BLESSING OR A BANE IN THE WA TOWNSHIP?
Motor bikes in the Wa Township have become an essential means of transport to many people today. It makes it easy to and from work, and in visiting people and places. In some remote areas of the Wa Township where it costs a fortune to use a taxi, and “trotros” are inadequate and infrequent, the motor bike transports people to and fro. Students of the University for Development Studies Wa campus and Wa Polytechnic are not an exception when it comes to motor bikes usage in the Wa Township. They often depend much on these motor bikes in order to prevent the hustle in using “trotro” to and from their lectures.
However, to me some of the most neglected issues surrounding the motor bike usage are; it’s careless, impatient and inexperience riding, more importantly riding without a crash helmet and lack of respect for road traffic regulations are of the increase in the township. Most of these motorcyclists ride carelessly in town and a look at the way these riders ride will tell anybody about their impatient and inexperience in the proper usage of these motor bikes. More often most riders do not use their crash helmet. Even when they do, the helmets are not certified and are generally only used to provide the illusion of compliance with mandatory helmet Laws. Such helmets are often smaller and lighter than a standard helmet, and are unsuitable for crash protection because they lack the energy-absorbing foam that protects the brain by allowing it to come to a gradual stop during an impact. Most riders have to bear in mind that these motor bikes are the most vulnerable in terms of physical protection. Also, looking at these motor bikes will tell you how many of these motor bikes/riders have gone through the due processes at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in the town before. A lot of them have not been registered. Most of them are also very wretched and do not worth being on road. Most of these riders do not use their traffic indicators and their level of awareness to these traffic indicators usages is very low. About a handful of these riders in town possess riding licenses and most of them lack defensive riding skills. With the above, one can account for the rampant accidents that occur with the use of these motor bikes in the Wa Township. Almost every day if not a father it’s a brother or sister or a friend etc.
However, we should also remember that these motor bikes create many jobs in the Wa Township, especially sales and maintenances. Providing them with petrol and oil, all these services create employment and incomes for the people. However, the motor bike is something of a luxury to many people in the township. It is too expensive to buy and run for many families nowadays. In addition to the purchase price, it has to be taxed and insured. It needs petrol and must be regularly maintained.
Despite all the advantages of these motor bikes in the township, there are its many disadvantages to consider to its increasing population. It will also be appropriate if the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and Road Safety Commission in the township could put in much effort, attention and training by creating riding training school or centre where the public could pay a token fee to receive proper and experience riding skills even before one can think of buying a motor bike. Importantly, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) could also help these people when they complete their training by taking them through proceedings requiring an acquisition of riding license. It will not only brings revenue to the Government but also ensuring proper and experience riding, reducing mortality and the hustle at the Wa Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority Office, simply to get a riding license. I do feel though, that a balance has to be struck between most people refusing to go in for licensing to ride and the hustle and difficulty some officers at the DVLA makes it “look like” in the process of acquiring license. But most often officer preferred the former, make these procedures open and understandable and most people in the Wa Township will walk in for proper training to acquire a riding license. This will bring proper understanding of road regulations so that we do not lose valuable lives through accidents from these motor bikes which many of us have come to take for granted.
Kuder Npaa-emwin Christian Wa - Upper West Region firstname.lastname@example.org 0208981977