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04.09.2005 Regional News

More stringent measures for issuance of driving license suggested

GNA

Kumasi, Sept 4, GNA - Odeneho Kwaku Appiah, former president of Youth in Action, an embodiment of youth groupings in the Kumasi metropolis, has appealed to the Ministry of Roads and Transport to come out with more forceful policies and stringent measures for the issuance of commercial drivers license to applicants.

He said such a policy and measures should go beyond merely ascertaining training skills and knowledge of applicants to conducting thorough investigations to find out whether the applicant has a criminal record or not.

Odeneho Appiah made the appeal when he spoke on the topic, "Duties of a Good Citizen" at the fourth anniversary celebration of the Aboabo Friends Association, a social club in Kumasi on Saturday. He said if such vigorous measures and policies are strictly applied in the issuance of licenses the commercial transport industry, especially the taxi drivers sector, could be relieved of infiltration by criminals as drivers.

Odeneho Appiah stressed, "of late it has been established that the majority of phone snatching and armed robbery cases have either been linked to or directly involved taxi drivers hence the need to properly screen them before issuing them such licenses." He said beside stringent policies from the ministry, it behoves the Municipal and district assemblies to also genuinely commit themselves to full enforcement of the assemblies' bye-laws on traffic. He made it clear that the bye-laws contain all it takes to ward off criminal activities associated with drivers and indiscipline but because they were not implemented to the letter, recalcitrant drivers are often able to have a field day.

Odeneho Appiah also called on transport unions to be more proactive in instilling discipline in their members by co-operating with the security agencies in checking and sanctioning offending members rather than protect them.

Mr Yusif Mohammed, chairman of the association, advised the local communities not only to strive to form neighbourhood watch committees but also ensure that such committees are sustained.

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