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01.11.2005 General News

Journalists welcome Police action

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Accra, Nov.1, GNA - The Greater Accra Branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has welcomed the decision of the Ghana Police Service to arrest vendors of alcoholic beverages at lorry stations and parks saying it was responsible for the rising tide in road accidents.

In a statement in Accra, Mr Gideon Sackitey, Chairman of the Branch, urged journalists in the Region and other regions to keep a tab on the promise and ensure that the Police delivered on their word. "We promise that reporting on what the Police and other relevant authorities are doing about persons selling alcoholic beverages at lorry parks would be closely monitored and evaluated to help to check the increasing number of accidents related to drunkenness or human error fixed at more than 70 per cent."

The statement described the Police's action as long overdue adding it was hoping the action would help control the situation. The statement noted that most of the people selling alcohol at the lorry parks were neither registered nor had they been registered to sell even non-alcoholic beverages.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Jonathan Yakubu said last month the Ghana Police Service would start arresting people selling alcoholic beverages at lorry parks during an interaction with the driver's union in Accra.

Mr Sackitey said the Greater Accra Branch was appalled by the fact that institutions other than the Police, charged with ensuring safe driving often looked on helplessly as drivers, mostly the commercial ones, flouted the law with impunity.

"We find it rather puzzling that there was actually a law against selling of alcohol at lorry parks in the country and yet persons paid by the tax payers' money just look on helplessly while they (tax payers) die at the hands of these same drivers."

The statement indicated that while it was comforting that the Police and other agencies would be educating people on the matter, "we would press for legal action to be taken alongside.

"What we want the Police to do immediately is to state clearly when the exercise would start as well as deal ruthlessly with drivers found to be drunk."

A random survey of lorry parks and station in the Greater Accra and five other regions showed that each of the lorry stations had not less than six drinking bars. Some had as much as 10 drinking places all selling alcoholic beverages.

Some of the lorry parks visited in Accra included the Tudu Lorry Park, Inter-city STC Terminal, Tudu and Kaneshie, the main Kpando, Ho and Koforidua station near the Ministries, the Tema Station in Accra and Tema. Others were the Takoradi station at Kaneshie. 01 Nov. 05

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