President of OSHA Ghana, Thomas Bismark Boakye, who is a retired officer of the National Road Safety Authority says current road accidents show that more vehicular accidents recorded in Ghana are predominantly automatic vehicles.
Speaking to Citi News during a training for drivers of Dryft, a ride-hailing app in Takoradi, Mr. Boakye, blamed the situation on the less driver knowledge on the increasing number of dashboard icons of modern automatic vehicles.
“The road accident statistics are increasing day in and day out because most of us don't understand the operations of the dashboard. One needs to understand the operations of the vehicle through the dashboard. The icons on the dashboard are meant for certain purposes and not just changing gears and turning the steers which would be dangerously wrong for road users. The dashboard is the brain of the car so if you don't understand it, you will be joking. Because the contribution of the vehicle to accident is just 3%, road 3% and the driver controlling the vehicle contributes 94% to road accidents. Modern automatic cars are coming up with about 68 icons on the dashboard, so if you don't go through training, how wound you know? Especially those using automatic vehicles, now if you watch the road crashes, most of the vehicles that are getting involved are the automatic vehicles.“, he said.
While commending Dryft ride-hailing app for promoting the safety of its drivers and passengers through the driver training, Thomas Bismark Boakye, however, called for strict enforcement of the road traffic regulations L.I. 2180 and Act 683 which demands every driver undertakes a defensive driver training once a year.
“The crashes are becoming too much, and we need to do more. I am asking the National Road Safety Authority to do more education and more enforcement. The enforcement is key, and if we really want these road crashes to be minimized. The Police must do their work, and we shouldn't say they are harassing us because it is at our own advantage. If you die on the road, it is the same police that will see to your transportation to the morgue or when injured they would make sure you get to the hospital. So we need to comply and learn the rules and regulations of the road. Per the LI 2180 and Act 683, it says that once in a year, every driver must go through a defensive driver training. It is very important for these increasing ride-hailing app operators like Dryft to train their drivers for the safety of the driver, passenger and pedestrian,“ he added.
The Area Manageress of Takoradi based Dryft ride-hailing app, Joana Koomson, said they have taken a lead in providing training for their drivers to support the national road safety campaign.
“The aim of this training programme is to enable drivers to understand and know the road signs to help reduce road accidents. We are aware of the increasing numbers of road accidents recently and Dryft cannot sit unconcerned but act to save lives. This is something we will sustain and our expectation is to see all Dryft drivers being able to use the road safely after this training to save their lives and the riders as well,“ she said.
A beneficiary of the Dryft organized driver training, Daniel Agbeshie, shared with Citi News how beneficial the training will be to his work.
“I am very excited with this training because I have been driving for about 19 years and I have never had any training on the job, especially understanding the dashboard. We just see yellow and red on the dashboard but if it wasn't for this training today, I have never heard that any red indicator is signalling a problem that must be solved by the driver. So I'm grateful to Dryft and hope they do it from time to time.“
Though the Dryft ride-hailing app recently made entry into the Takoradi commercial vehicle transportation market with three previous existing players, Dryft has become the new sensation due to its good rider and driver care policy.