Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

14 January 2013

Cameroon: Commercial Motorbikes Barred From Bamenda Tarred Streets

Indiscipline in the commercial motorcycle sector in Bamenda is about to be checked with riders sent off the tarred roads into the neighbourhoods. In effect, Bamenda City Council authorities are turning full circle with sensitization meetings, consultations and information on awareness to avoid surprises and enforce the decision prohibiting commercial motorcycles from all tarred roads or portions of tarred roads in metropolitan Bamenda.

On the strength of deliberations No. BCC09/DEL/E0YS/ of the Board of the Bamenda City Council, Administrative acts, Prime Ministerial Decree No. 2008/3447/PM of 31st December, 2008 and Circular No 01043/L/MINT/SG/DTT of June 25, 2009 by the Minister of Transport, tarred roads have become "no go areas" for commercial motorcycles in Bamenda.

Facing the Press recently, the Government Delegate to the Bamenda City Council, Ndumu Nji Vincent, Mayors of Bamenda I, II, and III Councils and some Grand Councillors were categorical that it is time out for disorder in the commercial motorcycle sector. It emerged from the Press briefing that commercial motorcycles are restricted to some itineraries with 46, "no cross areas," called bridgeheads clearly communicated to users in the three sub divisions.

Four years after the P.M's decree setting records straight about conditions and modalities for the exploitation of commercial motorbikes, most stake holders in Bamenda agree that it has taken too long for Bamenda to clean the sector.

It is against this backdrop that the Government Delegate says laws and regulations must be applied for Bamenda to survive as tomorrow's City, a City of rights and obligations. He has challenged inhabitants and passengers to rise to expectation and check the violation of the law by refusing to condone with commercial motorcycle riders who threaten to violate the law. It also emerged from the respective sensitization meetings and consultations with stakeholders that passengers who condone poor practices in the sector will be charged for complicity.

The good faith of the decision to prohibit commercial motorcycles from tarred roads is further boosted by revelations by the Director of the Bamenda Regional hospital, Dr. Charles Awasum that 2012 registered 193 commercial motorcycle accidents among whom, 264 were hospitalized and five died. Beyond the prohibition from tarred roads, poorly dressed commercial motorbike riders shall not be allowed to operate within the respective bridge heads. They are also expected to pay all relevant taxes (registration number, yellow colour jackets, global tax etc) and any private bike rider using the prohibited roads shall possess documents attesting that the bike is only for private use and respect highways code.

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