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03.01.2006 Regional News

GPRTU appeals to VELD

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Kintampo (B/A) Jan. 3, GNA - Kintampo District branch of Ghana Private Road Transport Union has appealed to the Vehicle and Licensing Division to reconsider its guidelines and decisions regarding the issuance of driving licenses to new drivers.

At a meeting with drivers at Kintampo, Mr. Yak Seidu, District Chairman of the Union noted that the division had been providing driving licenses to new drivers without any regard to the weight and capacity of the vehicles used by these drivers for the interview and driving test.

Mr. Seidu said the new system was affecting the activities and of the drivers as most of the new drivers were issued with private licenses and could therefore not drive passenger vehicles.

He called for a review of the system so that licenses would be issued according to the weight of the vehicle that the drivers used. On the directive for the removal of the carrier on mini buses, Mr. Seidu called on the government to consider the plight of the people in the rural areas and allow drivers who ply the roads in such communities to use the carrier to convey their farm produce to and from marketing centres.

The GPRTU Chairman expressed concern that as a result of the directives animals such as goats, sheep and pigs were competing with human beings for space in the vehicles, which was an unhealthy trend. "Farmers are finding it very difficult to carry their foodstuffs to the marketing centres as they are compelled to buy seats in the vehicles to load their goods", he said.

Mr. Seidu suggested that an inspection team could check overloading by vehicles with carriers and their drivers arrested and prosecuted in court to serve as a deterrent to others. He urged drivers to adhere to all driving regulations to prevent accidents and advised transport owners to ensure the regular maintenance of their vehicles.