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17.09.2005 Regional News

ER Police Command directs drivers to register by October 16

By GNA

Koforidua, Sept. 17, GNA - The Eastern Regional Police Command has directed commercial vehicle unions in the Region to submit by October 16, this year, a complete list of drivers operating under them. The directive is part of new measures by the security services in their efforts to clampdown on the twin problems of motor accidents and armed robberies, which have assailed the nation.

The Eastern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) R.P. Kwakye, who announced this at a meeting with leaders of drivers unions at Koforidua on Friday, explained that the registration exercise was necessary to help regulate their activities and to ensure that they complied with the relevant traffic laws as well as weeding out the unprofessional ones preying on the profession by taking advantage of inherent weaknesses in the system. He said the data should include the names of all registered drivers, the model and brand of vehicle, driver's license number and road worthy certificate, among others.

Mr Kwakye said the measure had become necessary to get a complete control on the activities of the motoring public so as to check the rampant abuses of traffic regulations including over-speeding, operating vehicles with a higher than authorized tonnage and drunkenness. ACOP Kwakye also directed the leadership of drivers unions to develop a manifest that lists the departure and arrival of all vehicles at their respective lorry parks to serve as a measure at controlling over-speeding of drivers, a major factor in many accident cases.

The Commander of the Eastern Regional Motor Transport and Traffic Unit, Superintendent C.K. Nti, ordered drivers using carriers atop their vehicles with only one back tyre to remove the carriers forthwith since they were not permitted by law to carry loads in view of the effect of such weight on the vehicle.

The MTTU Commander promised to follow-up on complaints of selective justice being displayed by some policemen under his Unit, saying such behaviours could not be justified and warned that his outfit would not condone any wrong doing on the part of the drivers. The Regional Licensing Officer, Mr Oduro Twum, demanded that transport union executives placed a higher premium on continuing education and medical examination of their members.

This, he explained, was very necessary in view of the many cars now entering the Ghanaian market with the state-of-the-art requirements and usually built for climates and road conditions that were technically different from the Ghanaian one and therefore required extensive continuing education of the users to come to grips with the mechanics of such vehicles.

Baffour Akyeampong, Koforidua Area Manager of the State Insurance Company, said there was the need to rope in mechanics and fitting technicians in any attempts at finding solution to the problem of road accidents since if not well-regulated, their activities could adversely affect road safety campaigns.

An executive member of the Koforidua branch of the Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), Mr Daniel Gyapong, said some car owners were sometimes to blame for the unprofessional attitude of their drivers.

According to him, some car owners, without a fuller appreciation of the high competition emerging in the transport industry, still demanded that their drivers made high daily income quota thus putting severe pressure on the driver to attain the target resulting in recklessness.

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