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27.05.2006 General News

Proliferation of transport unions account for accidents

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Takoradi, May 26-GNA-The Western Regional Branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has stated that the proliferation of transport unions in the country may account for the increasing number of road accidents.

Mr. Isaac Esau, Regional Chairman said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Takoradi on Friday.

He said that with the freedom of association many drivers have refused to join any union and this does not regulate their activities thereby enabling them to "operate anyhow on the roads".

Mr. Esau said some 207 Benz buses are usually overloaded, making passengers uncomfortable.

He called on the Ministry of Roads and Transport, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and other stakeholders to develop a criterion to be used to screen drivers and vet individuals who aspire to form their own transport unions.

Mr. Esau said the transport industry had become too liberal and this had encouraged inexperienced and unqualified persons to infiltrate its ranks.

He said the GPRTU had made it mandatory that any driver's apprentice must have been on the job for between three to five years before they are allowed to drive a vehicle.

The GPRTU and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) have been organizing in-service training at the various lorry parks for drivers on road safety measures, defensive driving, new road designs and other driving techniques reduce accidents, he said.

Mr. Esau said most accidents occur in the cities where majority of these splinter union groups operate.

Many people adopt driving as an easy option, he said, adding that such people who have no respect for the profession, tend to disregard the safety of passengers and property they handle.