Bike riders must avoid Central Business District


…Traffic Coordinator, West

OCTOBER 20, 2014 By Matthew Jabby

Traffic Coordinator for Western Area, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Salifu Conteh, has warned commercial motorbike riders to desist from plying in the prohibited Central Business District (CBD) of the city or risk being arrested by police officers.

ASP Conteh told newsmen that the CBD is demarcated from Kissy Road in the east to Krootown Road in the west of Freetown.

He recalled that a public order regulation dated since 3rd January, 2013 had prohibited commercial bike riders from plying within the CBD, adding that the regulation is being flouted by many bike riders.

ASP Conteh, however, conceded that bike riders are an integral part of society as they contribute greatly to national income, the transport sector and ease the pressure of youth unemployment in the country.

He nonetheless urged the riders to be law abiding and respect laws and regulations prescribed by the state, including riding with authentic licenses and number plates.

The Traffic Coordinator said his unit is mandated to enforce law and order on the streets, and justified the use of canes by police officers because of wanton lawlessness by okada riders.

However, civil rights groups have condemned the use of canes by the police, describing the method as unorthodox and unconventional and a gross violation of human rights. The controversial method has caused injury and death to bike riders and passengers, with many calling for its immediate abandonment, although the police high command has so far remained obstinate.