By Fru Rita
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2015 between the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEPD) programme and Jakiri Council has continued to yield fruits. One of such fruits is a one-day campaign on the safe usage of motor bike that held recently at the Jakiri Council. During the campaign, which was organized by the Jakiri Council in collaboration with the Delegation of Transport for Bui Division, the bike riders in the municipality took commitments to respect the Highway Code in order to curb the high prevalence of motor bike accidents in the Jakiri municipality.
The campaign aimed at creating awareness following recommendations of a study by Center for Inclusion Studies (CIS) in partnership with the SEEPD programme, which revealed that motor bike accidents is one of the leading causes of disability in the NWR. Over 100 bike riders in the Jakiri municipality turned out to listen to the Divisional Delegate of Transport for Bui, Mr. Mulutakwi George Tangie drilled them on how to use the high way code given that most of the bike riders do not attend driving schools and as a result are ignorant of the Highway Code. Mr Mulutakwi frowned at bike riders who do not respect the high way code, carry overload, not properly dressed and those who do not have the driver’s license. He announced that his delegation is ready to continue collaboration with the Council to ensure that bike riders in the municipality are in possession of the driver’s license after acquiring training
Earlier, the Supervisor of the Community Based Rehabilitation Services (CBR) of the CBC Health Services, Mr. Kenchi Joseph presented the study done by CIS in 2014. He noted that results of the studies which was done in the seven divisions of the NWR indicates that about 125 motor bike accidents occur in the region each day,35 people acquire fractures daily due to motorbike accidents, 20% of victims in serious motor bike accidents have permanent disabilities. The study adds that about 10% of the victims in serious motorbike accidents die from head injury, 90% of bike riders were not trained in a driving school, 95% of them do not wear helmets, while 97% of passengers have never worn a helmet.
The study also highlighted that the absence of helmets during accidents has shown a situation of severe accidents as compared to those who had helmets. Mr. Kenchi noted that results of the study are disturbing, reason why bike riders need to be careful in order to prevent disability in the municipality. He was accompanied by the CBR field worker and volunteers from Bui Division who conducted visual acuity for the bike riders to ensure that their eyes are safe for riding.
While issuing the driving licenses to the 53 bike riders who had sat in for a driving test and succeeded, the First Deputy Mayor for Jakiri Council, Madam Suilareng Ophelia appreciated the SEEPD programme and the Delegation of Transport for working with the Council to ensure that bike riders ride safely in the municipality. She announced that the second phase of the motor bike campaign will be launched in the days ahead with 100 bike riders as target.