Operational and Safety Assessment of Motorised Three-Wheel Vehicles for Public Transport in the Tamale Metropolis
Motorised three-wheel vehicles are important modes of transportation in the Tamale metroplis because they provide alternative mobility solutions for low and middle income earners and fill the gaps in transportation systems in Ghana. The fact that motorised three-wheel vehicles are inexpensive to manufacture, sell, operate and repair compared to cars have also catalysed the surge in their ownership. This study evaluates the operations and safety of motorised three-wheel vehicles as a means of public transport for goods and humans in the Tamale Metropolis. To achieve this objective, a manual traffic classification count was carried out on the following main roads: Hospital Road, Bolgatanga Road, Choogu Road and Nyohini Road within the study area; a survey questionnaire was designed to elicit information from operators as well as users of motorised three-wheel vehicles. Road traffic crashes data were obtained and analysed. Direct field observations were also carried out along selected roads. The manual traffic classification count revealed that motorised three-wheel vehicles constitute the third most significant mode of transport in the study area whereas light vehicles and motorcycles are first and second respectively. Additionally, operation of motorised three-wheel vehicles provides employment or livelihood to people who are otherwise unemployable and have families to take care of. In terms of safety, 94.6% are completely unlicensed, 3.1% have motorcycle license, 1.5% have tractor operator license and 0.8% have driving license. Lack of required driving skills could be one of contributing factors of crashes in the study area. The vehicles also stop or park at unauthorised places, leading to congestion and traffic management problems on roads. It is therefore recommended that the operation of motorised three-wheel vehicles within Tamale Metropolis Area be regulated and designated spaces provided for parking.
Keywords: Motorised three-wheel Vehicles, Public Transport, Operational, Safety; Tamale