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15.06.2004 Regional News

GPRTU Official for alcohol detecting device for police

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Agona Swedru, June 15, GNA - The chairman of Agona Swedru Branch Number Four of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has appealed to the government to consider importing "alcohol detecting" device for distribution to various branches of the union throughout the country for use by union leaders to arrest drivers who drive under the influence of alcohol.

According to Mr Issah Kojo Otoo, the branch chairman, the move would support efforts by the police to rid the commercial driving profession of undesirable characters who destroy the lives of passengers, through reckless handling of vehicles.

Making the call at an emergency executive meeting of the branch at Agona Swedru on Monday, Mr Otoo said it would also help branch leaders to examine drivers operating in their respective unions at the station before allowing them to undertake long journeys.

Mr Otoo said leaders of the Agona Swedru branch number four whose members ply Swedru and Accra route, had already put in place some measures to curb such unwarranted practice on the part of commercial drivers who drink alcohol to propel them to drive.

He said under the measures, drivers caught in such act would be suspended three months from driving and in addition, made to pay some fine to serve as a deterrent to others. Mr Otoo said the GPRTU branch leaders were prepared to buy the alcohol detecting device when made available to them and hoped the government would take the suggestion serious and initiate moves to import adequate number of the machines for supply to the union.

He said the union was not happy about the increasing number of fatal motor accidents on our roads, most of which occurred through reckless driving by alcohol and other hard drugs influence. Mr Ibrahim K. Donkor, treasurer of the Swedru-Accra number four branch union, reminded drivers, especially commercial drivers, of the rains and strongly advised them to ensure proper maintenance of vehicles, strict observance of traffic rules and regulations to avoid accidents. 15 June 04