The Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) through a consultative meeting with the members of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has banned the use of smaller tricycles, popularly known as Pragya in the region for commercial use.
Currently, Pragya is being used for passenger services predominantly in remote areas and now creeping in the urban centers of the region for the same service without proper road-traffic regulations.
Meanwhile, the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly (EKMA) was the first to go public on the ban.
Alhaji Abubakari Issah, Municipal Public Relations Officer (PRO) for the Effia-Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly (EKMA) who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency announced that the decision forms part of efforts at ensuring the safety of residents in the region.
Alhaji Issah further disclosed that the other type of tricycle known as “Aboboyaa” was exempted this time from the ban because it was helping to transport goods though some were using it to carry passengers contrary to the regulations, but would later be regulated properly.
He explained that during a recent meeting by the members of REGSEC where the decision was taken, it was said that most of the Pragya riders were below the age of 18 years and do not qualify to own a license per the laws of the country that regulates motor transport.
He added that it was also realized that most of the tricycles did not have the necessary insurance cover, while riders were not conversant with road-traffic regulations and were gleefully flouting them without recourse to their own safety coupled with several complaints coming from the citizens and drivers about their indiscipline on the road.
He contended that the ban of Pragya for commercial purposes in the region was to reduce the rate of accidents on the roads while ensuring the safety of residents, but not to keep them out of business and emphasized that the Assemblies will confiscate any Pragya that will be seen operating in them.
According to the PRO, it has become difficult for the Assemblies to track the activities of the riders because most of them do not belong to any transport union and cautioned the residents to comply or face the consequences, adding that no one will be spared when caught.
He indicated that the Assembly in collaborations with the Motor Transport and Traffic Division (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, Division of Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) will put together a policy framework that will regulate the activities of the Pragya riders for public safety.