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24.10.2005 Regional News

GPRTU calls for review of govt directive

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Kintampo (B/A), Oct. 24, GNA - Mr Yak Seidu, Kintampo District Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has called for a review of the Government directive to transport-owners and drivers throughout the country to remove carriers from their vehicles, saying, the order was restricting the lives of especially people in the rural areas.

Mr Seidu told Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Kintampo on Thursday that a number of farmers in the area find it very difficult to bring their farm produce to the marketing centres, while others could not send goods they had purchased from the market to their homes. He cited market women, who travel from Kintampo to Buipe to buy fish, which is packed together with passengers in the vehicles. Besides, other traders in yams, plantain, banana, dried cassava and maize to the market at Buipe, now find it very difficult to convey such goods around.

Mr Seidu complained that it has now become a practice and compulsion for the traders with goods to pay for extra fares for empty seats, and this was making the cost transporting goods very expensive.

Mr Seidu said such problem has led to the increase in the prices of some foodstuffs and fish in the market, as the traders pass through a lot of hardships to bring their goods from the marketing centres to their destinations.

He described the law and the directives as very important, as it checked accidents on the roads, but suggested that the drivers should be allowed to carry loads with lightweights to facilitate the movements of the people and their goods.

He also advised that, if the directive was revisited, the police as well as the leaders and authorities of the transport sector should be made to check the activities of drivers and those who would over-load their vehicles, be made to face the full rigours of the law.

Mr Seidu stressed the need for transport owners to ensure regular maintenance of their vehicles to keep them roadworthy always and also honour their various tax obligations to enable the Government mobilize resources for developmental projects in the country.

He cautioned drivers against drunkenness, over-speeding and unnecessary over-taking, which he identified as the main cause of motor accidents in the country.