You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2014 07 27Article 318421

Opinions of Sunday, 27 July 2014

Columnist: Ali, Joseph Oswald

Three Legs Bad; Tricycles on Rampage

Despite the fact that horse-drawn chariots and donkey drawn-carts are fast fizzling out, automobiles with such form and features are fast gaining prominence in northern Ghana. These vehicles known as tricycles have been christened in Dagaare/Waale speaking people of Upper West as ‘nyaaba lorry’ which means ‘shameful vehicle’. As the name denotes they are only a mockery of cars and so are the results the people in the three northern regions receive from using them.
The ‘shameful lorry’ is used for both passenger and cargo purposes across the length and breadth of the three northern regions. The spiraling of this vehicle across the region is mind boggling as every nook and cranny no matter how remote one would be greeted with one of these automobiles. They have really solved major transport problems but this is just the only good they have to offer.
To start with, the sky of the operational areas of these tricycles is overcast with accident bearing cloud which are drizzling lethal accidents across. These three legged automobiles are very jittery and unstable on the ground most especially on the feeder roads which are the preserve of the three northern regions. This results in reports of accidents by each minute in the case of these vehicles.
The undisputed truth is that, the use of these vehicles for commercial purposes falls flat in the face of the law, yet it is also a major intervention in promoting transport in this area. So which of the options is the lesser devil? It stains logic that our own members of parliament distribute these contraband automobiles to their constituents to engage in business. This brings to question their own belief in the laws they make their usefulness therein. This left handed gesture has equally being used by the executive as well.
Of course this gives the police little room to operate yet, their own shiftlessness resulting from their claims that they find it difficult to identify those using it for commercial purposes and those not is so banal. The stations of these vehicles are there for all to see and some even pay rates to their various operation area assemblies.
That said, what is of cosmic concern is the caliber of people who ride these vehicles and the kink of things they perpetuate. The ‘nyaaba lorry’ some in addition to load picks as many as thirteen passengers in addition to load as if it were a bus. This is little of the problem since most of the riders may not even pass a pedestrians interview. Most are often under the age of sixteen and some of the adults immensely clueless of traffic regulations.
At night, these vehicles are more dangerous than bokoharam surrounding a Christian gathering. They appear as simple motorbikes only to turnout as cars with loads as long cargo trailers.
In deed we live in a society where there is a disjoint between the law and the realities. If it is our belief that these vehicles be allowed to engage in commercial activities, then let’s amend the law. Anything short of this is a chain of illegality perpetuated by our people and supervised and encouraged by our law makers.
Together let us build a better society.
Joseph Oswald Ali