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24.05.2006 General News

Admit disciplined drivers to guarantee safety of passengers

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Mr Benjamin K Boafo, Obuasi Municipal Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has called on various transport unions to ensure that only good and disciplined drivers are admitted into their folds to help guarantee the safety of passengers on the country's highways.

Indiscipline drivers, who have been expelled from their mother unions and have been admitted into other unions, were contributing to the recent spate of motor accidents in the country, he said. "Careless and indiscipline drivers expelled from one union, easily jump into other transport unions, thereby learning no lessons from their previous mistakes", he added.

Mr Boafo, who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Obuasi on the recent public agitation for the banning of 207 Benz buses, urged the various unions to design strict code of conducts to regulate the operations of their drivers to help reduce road accidents, especially on the highways.

The GPRTU chairman said the blame on the 207 Benz buses, as being the cause of accidents on the highways was untenable, since "the buses on their own can not cause accidents, rather the drivers, who control the buses".

"After banning the 207 Benz buses and new type of vehicles replace them, the same drivers, who are only interested in over speeding and unnecessary overtaking will still use these vehicles," he argued. Mr Boafo said what the transport unions should do was to ensure that suitable and qualified drivers were made to drive on the highways. He said the policy of the GPRTU was that only drivers with five years experience, after obtaining a license were made to drive on the highways. Again, only those with the right grade of driving license should be made to handle 207 buses.

"The Obuasi GPRTU is very strict on these requirements and that since 2001 to date our 207 bus drivers have not recorded any accident on the Obuasi-Kumasi highway," Mr Boafo stressed. He said the drivers were also given refresher courses to update their knowledge on road signs and defensive driving.

Mr K. Adu Gyamfi, the secretary to the union advised drivers operating on the highways to avoid over speeding and unnecessary overtaking to spare passengers and their families of unnecessary pains and sorrow.

The Obuasi GPRTU used the forum to extend its condolences to the families of the 35 people, who perished on the Kumasi-Sunyani highway.