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22.06.2004 General News

Careless Driving - "Big Men" are the most notorious

By GNA

Accra, June 18, GNA - "Big Men" are the most notorious careless drivers in Accra, a Ghana News Agency investigations at the Accra Central Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service have revealed.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, in charge of Traffic at the Accra Central MTTU, Mr Solomon K. Ntim told the Ghana News Agency that big men in big coats and driving posh cars were the most notorious for the twin offence of going above the speed limit and jumping the red light. He said 828 private car drivers were arrested and convicted at the courts for jumping the red light between July 2003 and December 2003 adding that during the first quarter of this year 558 of them were convicted.

DSP Ntim said 222 private car drivers were convicted for driving above the speed limit between January 2004 and April 2004. He said a total fine of about 545 million cedis was slapped on 1,172 drivers that jumped the red light between July 2003 and December 2003 while 854 drivers paid about 196 million cedis for the same offence during the first four months of this year.

The State coffers benefited from a total fine of about 61 million cedis imposed on 242 drivers, who zoomed along the streets above the speed limit during the first quarter of 2004.

The GNA investigations also revealed that Ghanaian Women Drivers were becoming reckless as they zoom along Accra streets above the speed limit, jumping red lights at the peril of their lives and thus trifling with the future of their children.

This contrasted sharply with the widely held view that women were more cautious while driving compared to their male counterparts, DSP Ntim said.

The statistics showed that 10 Women Drivers were arrested and convicted at the courts for zooming above the speed limit between January 1 and April 30, 2004.

This compares to 20 Commercial Drivers arrested and prosecuted for the same offence during the same period.

"The situation becomes very alarming if viewed against the background that Commercial Drivers are more than 10 times the number of Female Drivers", Deputy Superintendent of Police, in charge of Traffic at the Accra Central MTTU, Mr Solomon K. Ntim told the Ghana News Agency.

He said 44 Women Drivers were arrested and convicted at the courts for jumping the red light between July 2003 and December 2003 and during the first quarter of this year, 51 of them were arrested and convicted for the offence.

DSP Ntim said women were so precious that everything should be done to protect them so that they would live to take care of their children and ensure a bright future for them.

He observed that most of the accidents that resulted in fatalities occurred at intersections and warned drivers to be very careful anytime they approached them.

DSP Ntim pleaded with the "Big Men" in society to spare the MTTU their telephone calls, notes and complimentary cards begging the Unit not to prosecute their drivers, relatives, wives, friends and acquaintances.

DSP Ntim showed to the Ghana News Agency about 100 notes and complimentary cards from "Big Men" asking for the favour of non-prosecution.

He said it was not true that the number of Commercial Drivers prosecuted was low because most of the time the Police took bribe from them while they could not do the same with the "Big Men".

DSP Nitm cited the recent case at Navrongo in the Upper East Region when Commercial Drivers went on strike alleging Police harassment, adding: "If the Police decide to enforce the law which they are employed to do, they are accused of harassment. If they decide not to, they are accused of non-performance.

"My Brother do you remember the trouble we went through when we insisted that "Trotro" Drivers should take the stipulated number of passengers their vehicles had been licensed to carry? They went on strike.

"Indeed the current bill being debated in Parliament would make it possible for the Police to impose spot fines for minor offences and this would go a long way to reduce the allegations of bribe taking by the personnel of the MTTU", he said.

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