The introduction of tricycles as means of transport into the system has brought some great relief and has been helpful to daily internal commuters, as well as businesses that require the movement of goods and a small number of persons from one point to the other.
Different tricycles serve different purposes, for example, the open-cart tricycle (Aboboya or Motor king) is meant for transporting goods, while the all covered tricycle ( Keke or yellow-yellow) is for transporting a small number of people at a time.
In spite of the fact that the services of tricycle contribute greatly to the development of human life through business earning and the whole transport unit of the region, there are also some demerits that tricycle services have affected lives on commercial roads during their rounds and working to meet their daily targets.
In fact, not only the accidents they cause, but their movement is also problematic to other vehicles, lorries and motorcyclists in their competition on roads to get to various destinations.
Notwithstanding the above, the idea of the Ghana Police Service in the Upper East Region to restrict tricycle services sounds laudable, but not the best and most profitable to the strugglers, youth and development of the poor regions of the country. To be outspoken, the restrictions will reduce their daily activities and earnings, and that affects their toils. Some operators may not get to earn income since Bolgatanga is a small market without a booming business to talk about.
Besides, the cost of living is recently high owing to the bad economy hence, the little that the riders do get would not be sufficient to settle their masters, maintain their tricycles and reserve something for their upkeep. All these must be considered due to the size of the market and the level of the growing business in the region. The restriction of tricycle services may inadvertently stop some operators from riding and to be sitting idle at home. This may cause another economic challenge in the region and the entire country since jobs are not readily available, coupled with the immediate economic crisis.
However, if their actions on the road are worrisome probably due to their youthfulness and inexperience, the decision by the Ghana Police Service to restrict them to control accidents will end up creating another challenge, that the police will end up fighting in future.
The reason is that, through a keen study, the main problem is the one controlling the steer (rider/driver) of the tricycle. Most riders lack technical know-how on rules and regulations on managing a means of transport on commercial roads. It is not and never specifically the problem of carrying only goods or the passengers that could prevent a mess on road accidents. Once the same person (rider), who has no experience, knowledge and technical eye is assigned to carry only goods or passengers, still scores a high mark to cause accidents on commercial roads.
In view of this, authorities should compromise and find a strategic developmental plan to train tricycle riders compulsorily on a subsidized fee. Across the country, it is an open secret that the DVLA takes high fees to train and give out licenses such that, youth who are either idling or just graduated from school without employment may not afford to obtain driving and vehicle licenses, because of exorbitant fees. Alternatively, authorities may create a Center for training mini transport users at a specific and affordable price and whoever has no such issued certificate or license must not ride a tricycle.
Strict rules must be followed to ensure order in the region and development. This would show how compassionate authorities are and their desire to develop the people other than trying to implement something which may cause more unemployment. The economic hardships have hit the entire country and if youth who engage themselves in tricycle services begin to quit owing to a lack of gains due to the implementation of the Police restrictions, the predicaments are going to be exacerbated.
Apart from that, there is no more trustworthiness in human relations whether in business or monetary issues, and that bad guys (tricycle riders) may intend running away with valuable goods and items which they carry or pick in their tricycle without owners accompanying them. Who should be blamed if notorious riders begin running with people’s goods and traders’ luggage?
Again, other important activities to look at are; criminal riders (drivers and motorists), overloading of passengers and goods and lastly, corrections of malfunctioning of street and traffic lights.
In a nutshell, the problem in tricycle services does not matter, to only carrying passengers or goods on the road which may prevent accidents, it is the rider. Most tricycle riders lack the knowledge and skills (training and education) on how to move on commercial roads when carrying passengers or loads. Even if a stupid rider is assigned to drive only goods can still cause mayhem on road. Therefore, it would be of great help and development in the region when tricycle users are given compulsory training at a subsidized fee from authority or government to ensure they continue sustaining lives in these menial jobs. This step would have a positive impact on the lives of youth, businesses and transport in the region.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that, the government cannot provide sufficiently for everyone, let alone get them satisfied with their individual needs. This may be some of the reasons why, the neighbouring countries such as; Nigeria, Togo and Burkina Faso are liberal to their citizens who may struggle their way Abroad (Overseas), to ship in goods and services (cars & machines) whatever they got to also an open opportunity for others to make living ease for the people as well as the economy. Ironically, Ghana has imposed a lot of restrictions on her citizens and those who are overseas suffering emotionally and financially to ship in goods which could have helped vastly in the lives of the people and the economy. For instance, a car which is registered above ten years old is not allowed to be shipped in Ghana by the authorities and the guys cannot bring anything to help families, friends and the country’s economy because of the high fees imposed on such products. Actually, some restrictions may be laudable, but not all are best for development and are supposed to be regulated.
Source: Ndaa A. Buzia, Lungo-Bongo District, (0500056502)