Saturday, April 12, 2014

Okada ban has reduced motorcycle accidents in Lagos- Surgeon


The number of okada accidents has reduced since September.


An orthopaedic surgeon, Obianyor Ocee, has said that there has been a reduction in the number of motorcycle-related accidents since the enforcement of the partial ban on commercial motorcyclists “okada’’ in Lagos State.

Mr. Ocee, who is the Head, Emergency Medical Department, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, made the disclosure in Lagos on Saturday.

He said this was due to the full enforcement of the recent ban on okada in some major parts in the state.

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, had on August 2 signed the Lagos Road Traffic Bill into law.

The law prohibits the operations of commercial motorcyclists on 475 roads in the state.

Mr. Fashola, while signing the bill into law, said it was to check the rising cases of accidents, especially the ones caused by the commercial motorcyclists.

He also said the law would help to restore order to the roads.

Mr. Ocee said okada-related accidents decreased in comparison between September and October, when the ban was fully enforced.

He said this was against the background of the high rate recorded between June and August when the commercial motorcyclists were still in operation on those roads.

The consultant noted, however, that the figure jumped to 41 male and 26 female in November, even though he could not explain the reason for the increase.

According to the statistics he made available, there was a decrease from 183 recorded between June and August to 130 between September and November.

The statistics show 18 male and three female recorded in September and 33 male and nine female in October, while it increased to 41 male and 26 female in November.

“This is against 36 male and 20 female recorded in June, 49 male and 24 female in July, and 36 male and 18 female recorded in August, just before the commencement of enforcement of the ban,” he said.

Mr. Ocee said those in the age group of 15 to 44 years accounted for the high rate of accidents, saying people in the age range were still active and indulged more in riding motorcycles.

“Since all other factors remain constant, including the okada riders still being the same people, they are not better trained than they used to be.

“Definitely, banning them takes a lot of them off the roads, thereby resulting in less accidents occurring,’’ the consultant said.

Mr. Ocee said in terms of its economic factors, the amount of money invested or spent in treating the patients could be saved and channelled towards other needs.

He added that man hours, the period of time the patients spent on admission in the hospitals, would have also been reduced and people would have been more productive.

“Ordinarily, when a patient comes in with a fracture of the major bones, like the tibia and fibula of the legs, he will remain in the hospital for like 12 weeks, which is three months, before the fracture heals. A lot of man hours would have been wasted.

“However, if we do not have such accident occurring, the man will at least work and still remain productive,” the consultant said.

He urged the road traffic management officials to educate drivers on how to operate during the yuletide season to ensure an accident-free period.

Mr. Ocee also urged the state government to enforce the ban on the sale of alcoholic drinks at the motor parks.

He said many drivers indulged in taking lots of alcohol and drugs before embarking on their journeys.

“The government should enforce this ban and ensure that such things do not happen.

“The road safety authorities should educate the drivers on how to manage their vehicles and maintain them, because many of them are not well maintained.

“All these put together will definitely help in reducing the high rate of accidents on the roads,’’ Ocee said.


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