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19.04.2004 Regional News

Transport Companies to train Commercial Drivers

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Kumasi, April.19, GNA - The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is encouraging the various transport companies in the country to register and use their facilities as training institutions for commercial drivers in the country.

This is to enable commercial drivers, especially those who plied long distance routes to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge on defensive driving in order to reduce accidents on the roads. Mr Joe Osei Owusu, Chief Executive of the DVLA, made this known at a drivers forum in Kumasi on Sunday.

It was organised by the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) for its members in the Ashanti Region.

Mr Osei Owusu said, all the various driving schools which were currently registered with the DVLA, lacked the requisite capacity and logistics to train commercial drivers, especially those who used high occupancy vehicles and "trotro" on the country's roads.

He said most commercial drivers were ignorant of the rules and regulations governing their trade, while others had also refused to adhere to basic and simple traffic observations that could help prevent accidents.

Mr Osei Owusu questioned the criteria used by the various transport unions in accepting new members into their fold and urged them to be self-regulating to ensure that drivers used vehicles that were permitted by their driving licenses.

This, he said would not only ensure professionalism in their associations but would also promote quality service for passengers and other road users in order to reduce accidents.

Mr Osei Owusu said, drivers had greater responsibility in ensuring the safety of life and property and advised them to exercise care and discipline on the roads.

Chief Superintendent Augustine Gyening, Ashanti Regional Commander of the police MTTU, said the road safety school in the region would soon be inaugurated to offer training on road and traffic signs to commercial drivers.

Mr M.A Appiah, National Chairman of PROTOA, deplored the monopolistic attitude of the GPRTU in the use of the various lorry parks in the country and called on metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to be firm and allocate the lorry parks equally to all transport unions that operated in their areas.

He commended the government for embarking on massive road rehabilitation exercise throughout the country and appealed for the construction of rest stops on the roads to enable drivers who got tired on the road had places to rest before continuing their journey.

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