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27.10.2008 Regional News

Haulage Drivers call for relaxation of ban

By gna

Members of the Ashanti Regional Branch of the Ghana Haulage Transport Drivers' Association has expressed concern about the re-introduction of the Legislative Instrument (L.I.) that banned the movement of all vehicles above three tones between 1800 hours and 0600 hours in the region.

Though they are happy with it they suggested that the law be made in such a way that they stop at 1800 hours and move after 2200 hours because by this time the number of small cars on the roads might have reduced.

Briefing the press in Kumasi on Saturday Mr Asiedu Berchi, the Chairman of the association, said the L.I. which is strictly in force in the Ashanti Region was causing havoc to haulage truck drivers and businessmen suffer when they fail to reach their destinations.

Mr. Berchi said it takes a minimum of six hours for a loaded cargo vehicle which leaves Tema to reach Kumasi and if a truck should leave Tema Port at about 1300 hours it would have to do the journey in five hours to be able to beat the deadline.

“The implication is that the driver will have to speed and we all know the implications of over-speeding these big trucks”.

He said following the introduction of the L.I. in the region by the Ashanti Regional Police Command in July, haulage vehicles coming from Brong-Ahafo Region have to stop at Bechem, those from Western Region stop at Praso and those from Accra stop at Nadieso while those from the Northern Region also stop at Tanoso.

“All these unplanned stoppages create inconveniences for transporters of goods with most drivers suffering from mosquito bites, attacks by armed robbers and other environmental hazards which do not augur well for people in the haulage industry.”

Mr. Andrew Owusu, the Regional Treasurer of the Association called for the provision of parking lots for heavy trucks especially on the Kumasi/Offinso road to ease congestion and maintenance of broken down haulage vehicles.

He said the association was prepared to cooperate with the police in the enforcement of the law to weed out unscrupulous drivers, reduce accidents and bring sanity into the haulage industry.

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