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29.11.2005 Regional News

Drivers unite to combat carnage on road

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Aflao, Nov. 29, GNA - About 42 commercial drivers in Aflao, alarmed over the spate of road accidents on the Aflao-Accra highway, have united to sensitize themselves on safe driving practices to reduce carnage on the road.

The gruop expressed concern about deaths that resulted from the accidents and its effect on the road transport sector. Called the Concern Drivers Association (CDA), they planned periodic workshops with resource persons from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Police to give talks on good driving practices and related issues.

Made up of long and short distance drivers belonging to the local Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Aflao branch, they said the CDA is not a splinter group but formed distinctively concerned with promoting first class driving principles.

CDA has collected copies of the Ghana Highway Code for sale to its members to study the regulations, the lack of which among drivers has often been cited as the main cause of accidents. The group also agreed on monthly contributions in support of the association's agenda, including the propagation of its concept to colleagues in Dzodze, Keta, Akatsi, Sogakope and beyond. At its maiden workshop at Avakome, Aflao at the weekend, Mr Valentine Bumekpor, CDA chairman, noted that the driver could make a major impact in reducing road accident once he becomes convincingly informed on the right practices.

Mr Emmanuel Kwashiega, CDA first trustee said CDA, as a platform is relevant in driver education as the main drivers unions are over pre-occupied with management issues as against driver sensitization. Mr Godson Wemegah, officer in- charge of DVLA, Ketu, commending the CDA initiative took the group through the regulations and dangers in violating them.

"You can be a defensive driver which means always avoiding obstacles only when you have good judgment on road issues fully taking into practice the regulations, giving consideration to other road users", he said.

He announced that his outfit is to take possession of vehicle headlamp testing equipment to help detect for re-adjustment the focus of lamp on vehicles to avoid them blindfolding other vehicles, which often leads to accidents.

The drivers called on the Ghana Police Service to plan sensitization workshops on road traffic regulations and their enforcement for their personnel to eliminate the problem of some of them misinterpreting the regulations resulting in unwarranted harassment and bullying of drivers.