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01.10.2005 Crime & Punishment

Stop collecting driver's licenses - Police cautioned

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Takoradi, Oct. 01, GNA - Policemen have been advised to stop collecting driver's licenses as a guarantee for traffic offences. A Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Adusah Poku, who is also in charge of the Western Regional Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) said the license was the authority of the driver to handle a vehicle and any officer, who collects it deprives the driver from operating within the laws.

He said these at a day's meeting on the new Road Safety Act, 683 at Takoradi on Friday. It was organised by the Western Regional Police Administration for the Transport and Industry sectors in the region. DSP Poku said the Police administration would no longer accept photocopies of licenses presented by drivers and cautioned that any driver without a license would be arrested and prosecuted. He said over speeding, poor lighting systems, over loading of timber vehicles, double overtaking by big trucks have been identified as major causes of road accidents.

He said the Police administration would arrest and prosecute drivers, who flout the new law from October 10 to ensure high levels of discipline on the roads.

The Western Regional Commander of the Ghana Police Service, DCOP Kofi D. Arthur said between January and August this year, 205 accidents were recorded.

He said out of the figure, 25 persons died, while 184 others sustained injuries, with 314 vehicles involved in the accidents. Mr Arthur said to ensure safety on the roads, regular meetings would be held with stakeholders, while senior Police Offices would be detailed to do random motor checks. Mr Bismark T. Boakye, Western and Central Regional Officer of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) said 15 per cent of road accidents involved big trucks, while mini buses accounted for 35 per cent. He said out of the figure, fatigue accounted for almost eight per cent and appealed to vehicle owners to provide spare drivers for long distance journeys.

Mr Boakye said the NRSC would organise training for big truck drivers adding that, a consultant would soon arrive in the country to provide seat belts for vehicles, which do not have one. Mr Vincent Fiatsi, Regional Director of the Vehicle Examination and Licensing Division (VELD) said the lack of regular proficiency test had accounted for many accidents.

He said by 2008, drivers would be required to possess a minimum educational qualification before they were issued with driving licenses. DSP Moses Ali, Commanding Officer of the Mobile Force Unit said the new laws would be enforced without discrimination, when the regional command begins enforcement.

He said it would be in their own interest, if they abide by the new road safety laws to minimise the increasing cases of road accidents. Oct. 01, 05

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