Cape Coast underage “pragya” driver ban in effect: customers unhappy, taxi drivers welcome directive
A lonely pragya on the road after the ban goes into effect
The ban on underage riders came into effect last Monday. Although the activities of the tricycle operators offered another means of transport to the inhabitants of the metropolis, in some cases they became a nuisance and created a danger for other road users.
To help regulate their activities, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Security Council, at its meeting on September 15, 2021, agreed guidelines for tricycle operations in the metropolis.
The directive prohibited people under 25 from using tricycles and restricted their travel on the Accra-Takoradi highway.
The safety council further said that the tricycles are only expected to operate between 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily, stressing that those who fail to follow the guidelines will be dealt with.
Monitoring attendance at events since the ban took effect, the Daily Graphic observed that most users of tricycles who did not meet the requirements had given up using the tricycles.
At certain crossroads in the city, police have been posted to ensure that the ban is in full force.
Police personnel who were stationed at the petrol roundabout last Thursday morning were seen checking driver licenses and other requirements the assembly had spelled out.
In other areas, including Pedu Junction, police ensured that tricycles did not cross the highway.
The exercise has also been extended to bikers in the metropolis and the police are looking for people who have not registered their motorcycle and do not have the appropriate papers.
Central Regional Police Commander, DCOP Kojo Antwi Tabi, said the exercise was aimed at suppressing theft activity in the area.
He said the move would ensure the elimination of unregistered motorcycles used for criminal purposes.
“Our men are particularly looking for unregistered motorcycles to help us also identify bikes used for theft activities,” he said.
Some tricycle riders, however, described the ban as harsh and inhumane, stressing that it would rob them of their daily income.
The main concerns raised included the age limit of the riders and the time slot of their operations.
Motorcyclist, Maxwell Kofi Tibu, said that “the hour they want us to operate is rather unfortunate because most of us can’t make enough sales until 5 p.m. because that’s the hour. time when traders close and frequent us “.
A 23-year-old horseman, Prince AÃ§kom, also said: then our source of sustenance was taken from us.
While some believed the ban had made it more difficult for commuters who depended on them for ease of travel, some metropolitan taxi drivers sighed with relief, saying the ban would ensure their business was done. better.
They noted that the influx of tricycles was gradually pushing them out of business, and they hoped the new restrictions would pave the way for them to increase their sales.
Some drivers also explained that the ban would reduce road accidents caused by the blatant disregard of traffic rules by most tricycle drivers.
Taxi driver Mr. Edward Ntsiakoh said he saw the ‘okada’ ban as a welcome development as it would reduce the ‘near misses we still have on the roads and also increase our daily sales. “.
He stressed that the tricycles had largely affected their livelihoods and urged the government to “create other routes for them, as they behave badly on the roads and do not obey traffic rules”.
Meanwhile, commuters stranded at some points of view expressed unease over the ban affecting their daily routine, saying the situation was wreaking havoc on them.
They noted that due to the ban it took them longer to get the tricycles to transport them to and from their destinations and the available taxis were charged more than they could afford.
Anaafo market trader, Mrs David, told the Daily Graphic that she had hired people to help her transport her goods from her residence to the market because the tricycles had become difficult to find since last Tuesday.
âYesterday, for example, I was at the side of the road for over 20 minutes without seeing a tricycle to take and I had to ask people to carry my kenkey to a certain point so I could take a taxi and they also charged more than what the pragya would normally charge, âshe said.
Oguaa Sec Tech student Olivia Ampem said that âI had to walk to the petrol roundabout from Ntsin in hopes of catching any tricycle; I was disappointed.
“I was so tired and it was impractical for me because I used to ride the tricycle on my own at school without going through the stress.”
Some residents were of the opinion that while the ban was aimed at ensuring mental health on the roads and reducing bloodshed, the situation could give rise to incidents such as social vices since most tricycle operators would be left without no viable employment option.
Ms Rhoda Anaaba said: “Most of these pragya runners depend solely on this for a living and so if that means is taken away from them, they might end up coming to our communities to steal or do whatever they can think of. to support themselves. “