WHILST cities in Europe are actively encouraging motorbikes to be used instead of cars as a means of tackling congestion and pollution, by contrast cities in Africa are increasingly banning the use of motorbikes to curb crime.
Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa has become the latest city to make it illegal to ride a motorbike after it was identified as a primary source of crime, being used in robberies, ride-by incidents and violent attacks.
It’s not an uncommon ruling in Africa where motorbikes are more readily available and the best form of transport for getting around quickly (ie. away from a crime scene), with Nigeria the first to crack down with bans in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.
However, as ever the bans are having two-fold effects with a number of legitimate companies complaining it could wipe them out of business, with fast food delivery firms feeling the pinch in particular.
This is no lip service law either with the city taking the ban, which comes in today, seriously with reports of motorbikes being seized altogether as a direct way to enforce it.
Deliver Addis – a delivery firm similar to Deliveroo – told its Facebook page: “The expected enforcement date was scheduled to begin on July 7, 2019 [but] law enforcement officials have already begun seizing motorbikes in multiple areas around the city and we’ve suspended operations for the safety of our drivers.”
A city already choked with congestion, it appears the Addis Ababa city office has tried to solve one problem with a sweeping ruling that affects numerous other honest people who use their wheels for good (and profit) rather than evil and who will need to return to their cars to get around again.
Now it just remains to be seen if crime reduces in tandem with traffic rising to make it worthwhile.