Lagos State government have issued a new law banning okada commercial motorcyclists from carrying pregnant women and children. From 1 September okadas are also banned from certain parts of the capital including all Lagos bridges. In addition the compulsory wearing of crash helmets is to be enforced.
Named after an obsolete Benin-based airline carrier not known for its comfort, the okada is a commercial motorbike whose rider ferries fare-paying passengers to their destinations. A feature of Lagos since the 1980s, okadas became popular due to the increasingly clogged traffic in Lagos as they presented a fast means of transport.
They have also proved to be a consistently dangerous mode of travel. Police records show that okada-related accidents accounted for an average of 70 per cent of road deaths in Nigeria between January and May 2010, with 14 per cent of them fatal.