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27.09.2005 Business & Finance

Transport owners urged to pay decent wages

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Koforidua, Sept. 27, GNA - The Commander of the Motor Transport and Traffic Unit of the Ghana Police Service, Chief Superintendent Victor Tandoh, has said that one indirect cause of motor accidents was the meagre wages paid to drivers by transport owners.

He said much as the activities of many drivers left much to be desired, vehicle owners were also to blame for paying their workers sums as low as 100,000 cedis a month, a situation, he noted, pushed such drivers to engage in diverse unorthodox activities for survival.

Speaking at Koforidua on Monday, Mr Tandoh said it was time transport owners realised that when they overburdened and under paid their workers, a situation that created in the drivers a coping strategy of survival that was inimical to public safety.

Addressing a cross-section of stakeholders in the tourism industry as part of activities to mark this year's World Tourism Day, Mr Tandoh stressed the need for behavioural change as part of efforts to ensure responsible and safe driving in the country.

Such a goal, the MTTU boss explained, was very necessary, especially, when viewed against the backdrop of a survey, which revealed that 15 per cent of the drivers in a study conducted recently either did not know or could not identify any road markings. Dwelling on some statistics, Mr Tandoh estimated that the effects of motor accidents through trauma affected more than 17,000 Ghanaian families each year over the death or some form of severe physical impairment of a relative.

Specifically, about 1,300 accidents occurred in Ghana last year, with 13,000 others picking one form of injury or the other. In an address read on his behalf, the Executive Secretary of the National Road Safety Commission, Mr Noble Appiah, said although the accident rate in Ghana could not be justified, it was nevertheless not true that Ghana had the highest accident rate in the world.