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08.07.2003 General News

MTTU calls for stiffer punishment for careless drivers

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Accra July 8 GNA - Chief Superintendent Victor Tandoh, Commander of the Motor Transport Traffic Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service on Tuesday called for a stiffer punishment for drivers who caused carnage on the roads.

He said the maximum five million cedis fine imposed on road offenders and the five years minimum or 10 years maximum jail term in default was not deterrent enough.

Chief Superintendent Tandoh said this when he spoke on: "The Role of the Police in National Road Safety" at the opening of a three-day Drivers' Training Programme organized by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).

The training programme, which forms part of the NRSC two-year Road Action Plan, was to enhance and upgrade the driving skills of commercial drivers throughout the country.

One hundred participants drawn from the various transport unions in the Greater Accra Region are taking part in the training programme. He said some of the accidents that had occurred on the roads could have been avoided if the drivers had followed laid down regulations.

He said between January and June this year, the MTTU had prosecuted 2,361 drivers in the courts and 500 million cedis collected as fines in Accra alone.

He said drivers caught drunken driving could have their licences suspended for six months.

"How long is the carnage and indiscipline on our roads going to end. Driving licence is privilege not a right since it could be taken away from the owner at any time"

Chief Superintendent Tandoh also tasked the various drivers unions in Accra to do something to attract the floating drivers whose activities were creating a lot of problems for the Police in the Metropolis.

He urged the participants to be serious since this could help them upgrade their driving skills.

Mr John Noble Appiah, Acting Executive Director of the NRSC, said the Commission had put in place a five year Strategic Road Safety Programme that was intended to solve some of the problems in the Road sector.

He said the training programme was to try to raise the consciousness of drivers to the dangers posed by road accidents in the country.

He said the Commission intended to train about 500 drivers from 10 regions of the country by the close of the year. He said the Commission would also start to evaluate its Road safety Programmes by the beginning of next year to find out whether they had made the necessary impact.

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