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29.01.2005 Regional News

Best drivers in the Central region receive awards

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Cape Coast, Jan. 29, GNA- Mr Robert Loo, a driver from Cape Coast, was on Thursday honoured at a ceremony in Cape Coast for emerging as the national second best driver for the year 2004 in a competition organised by Donewell Insurance Company (DIC) in conjunction with the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).

Mr Loo, who was earlier on awarded with his prize of a 15-seater KIA Peugeot bus valued at 22,000 dollars in Accra, was this time around awarded with a certificate and a five million cedis personal accident insurance cover donated by DIC and renewable each year for a period of five years.

Mr Anthony Ephrim, also from Cape Coast, who was the region's best driver during the competition, was also awarded a double- decker refrigerator, a certificate and a similar personal accident insurance cover.

Mr Kofi Amissah, a driver from Swedru and Anthony Kojo Yanney also from Winneba who were the third and fourth runners-up in the region were also awarded with certificates and similar personal accident insurance covers.

Mr Vincent Appiah, Central Region Director, Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), in an address to commemorate the occasion, announced that, the DVLA in conjunction with the Police would soon mount an operation to clamp down on drivers whose vehicles are above the weight of their licences.

He explained that drivers whose vehicles are far below the weight of the vehicles they drive were responsible for a reasonable number of the accidents, which occur on the roads.

Mr Appiah therefore, warned drivers to drive vehicles whose weights were equivalent to what their licences allowed them, to stem accidents on the roads.

Mr Thomas Boakye, regional co-ordinator for NRSC, on his part, pointed out that every year the government spends over one trillion cedis on road safety measures and campaigns.

"This amount could be used in the provision of social amenities to the populace to raise their standards of living, if drivers take caution as their watchword when they are driving", he added.

According to Mr. Boakye, this year's competition would be organised on a grand scale because the government has pledged 1.2 billion cedis towards it, and that there would be a prize of a vehicle for each region's best driver.

Mr William Twumasi, acting regional commander, Ghana Police Service, said if drivers would cultivate the habit of defensive driving, accidents on the roads would be reduced to the minimal. He explained that most accidents were caused by faulty parts of vehicles and therefore advised vehicle owners to cultivate the habit of regular maintenance of their vehicles.

Mr Twumasi congratulated the award winners and urged them to keep driving according to the rules, and also called on those who have not won any prize to strive and emulate the driving habits of the award winners.

Mr Kennedy Amoh, regional Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) of the Ghana Police Service said it is an offence to drive whiles drunk, and any driver with an alcoholic content of 0.08 percent in his body while driving is liable to prosecution.

He said the competition has sensitised drivers to traffic regulation to a large extent, and therefore, commended DIC for organising and sponsoring the event.

Miss. Bernice Boamah, regional manager of DIC, said it was unfortunate that many nominations were not received from the region during period of the competition and urged the public to patronise the event next time around.

She congratulated the award winners for their skilful driving which won the admiration of the public and urged them to keep it up so as to continue to save lives and win more honours.

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