Motorcycle taxi business is booming and financially empowering many Malawians, but lack of proper guidelines to police the trade is sending many to an early grave.
In an interview, Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) spokesperson Angelina Makwecha admitted the danger the booming business is posing to travellers.
She said the directorate and other stakeholders have since embarked on a nationwide campaign to train motorcycle taxi operators on road traffic rules and regulations.
Makwecha said the riders are supposed to be registered after being trained at a driving school accredited by the directorate.
“Riders who use a motorbike with engine capacity of less 125cc are supposed to have an A1 driving licence whereas riders who use a motorbike of engine capacity greater than 125cc are supposed to have Code A driving licence,” she said.
Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe treated at least 141 victims of motorcycle-related accidents between March and April this year, according to the hospital’s spokesperson Chiyanjano Kazombo.
Statistics at DRTSS show that last year alone—when 4 879 accidents occurred on the country’s roads—433 of them involved motorcycle taxis in which 116 people died while 100 sustained serious injuries.