Due to the mandate given by the Federal Government to restrict movements and activities in Lagos, FCT, Ogun and a few other states, it has become abundantly clear that essential goods and workers will have to commute on a daily basis.
Tricycles, popularly known as Keke, has proven to be the referred means of transportation lately. The pandemic increased its popularity in light of recent social distancing requirements. The open-spaced design of tricycles allows for easier accessibility, and more air circulation when compared, especially to larger vehicles with small or closed windows.
Recently, ridesharing companies circulated a newsletter that advised drivers to put down windows and put off air conditioning for cross-ventilation, a feature that is readily available with the tricycle.
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As such, for the safety of members and passengers, the Tricycle Owners Association of Nigeria (TOAN) has issued regulations to protect the lives of keke users.
One of such regulations indicates that; “All Keke riders are not to carry more than two passengers at any time.” This is to keep all persons, including the rider, at a safe distance from one another as advised by the World Health Organisation.
Provided these and other guidelines such as hand washing, face masks, not touching the face and other precautionary measures are followed by both passengers and riders, the commercial tricycle appears to be one of the safest modes of public transportation amid the pandemic.
Three months ago, In an effort to intensify safety on highways and inner roads, the Lagos State Government listed the major roads it has restricted tricycles (Keke) and motorcycles (Okada) from plying in the state. In the restriction order, the state government asked motorcycle and tricycle operators to cease operations on major roads in Lagos.