If you live in Lagos, you must be familiar with Okada riders. They are everywhere. Despite efforts by the Lagos state government to restrict the movement of Okada riders in certain areas to create some orderliness on the road, somehow, they find a way to ride in those areas.
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It’s very common to see motorcyclists involved in a fight with either motorists or pedestrians on a regular basis. The reason for this isn’t farfetched; they are always doing something wrong in a bid to cut corners on the road. That’s not to say that these transport workers are the cause of every problem on Nigerian roads. Let’s discuss the Crimes most Lagos okada riders commit on daily bases
Riding without protection
A motorcycle is different from a car. Riding it puts you at a higher risk in the event of an accident. Hence, there’s the need to cover up yourself with a helmet. Despite efforts by the authorities to enforce the mandatory use of helmets by these riders, they totally disregard it.
It isn’t a crime to overtake other vehicles on the road. People move at different speeds. If they aren’t keen on arriving at their destination faster, you can overtake them and keep it moving. But then, there are rules of engagement as far as overtaking is concerned. These rules are necessary to prevent accidents on the road. But for some reason, Lagos okada riders develop selective amnesia when overtaking people. When you see them overtaking, you begin to wonder if they aren’t afraid of getting involved in an accident.
Overloading the motorcycle
If you think car drivers are the only ones who can be guilty of overloading, Lagos okada riders are ever ready to surprise you. Ideally, a motorcycle is meant to carry only two people – the rider and a passenger. But that’s not in the books of okada riders in Lagos. They can carry as many as three people – two in the back seat and a child in the front seat. If they had their way, they’d carry even more people just to make more money.
Carrying passengers with overly big objects
Perhaps passengers are to blame for this, but okada riders cannot be exonerated because they encourage it. Okadas aren’t meant to transport big objects but human beings. In order to make quick cash, these riders encourage passengers to get on their vehicles with big objects that obstruct free movement on the road. Imagine a passenger on an okada carrying a car windscreen, it’ll definitely extend beyond the width of the okada.
This list would be incomplete without including overspeeding. Lagos Okada riders can give car drivers a run for their money when it comes to speeding. The Nigeria Highway Code clearly states that 50km/h is the maximum speed limit for motorcycles. But obviously, okada riders didn’t get the memo.
Okada riders are a major part of motorists’ nightmares in Lagos because of their indiscriminate movements. They come out of the blue and pass through places they aren’t supposed to pass. In the process of doing this, they collide with other road users and scratch their vehicles.
Trust Lagos car drivers, they aren’t having any of this – that’s why you always see motorists and okada riders involved in either a fight or heated argument.
Use the comment box to share your own experience with Lagos Okada