GPRTU bans drug peddlers on commercial vehicle

Accra- The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has banned the selling of drugs on commercial vehicles; Mr George Ofori-Davis, Acting General Secretary of the union told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Friday.

He said: Being notified that some people still engage in the selling of unapproved drugs in commercial vehicles, I am going to remind the Regional Offices not to allow any drug peddler either in standing or in motion vehicle to sell drugs in commercial vehicles.

Mr Ofori-Davis urged passengers to report drug peddlers including; herbal medicine dealers to stations masters; and tasked station masters to order such nuisance operators from the vehicle.

He said the GPRTU in collaboration with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) had joined forces to fight against drug peddling in commercial vehicles.

Mr Ofori-Davis, said most of these drug peddlers who operated in commercial vehicles had not sought approval from the FDA and said the Union was first alerted of the unlawful trade by the FDA who recommended that their operations be put to a stop.

The FDA officially drew our attention to the illegal means by which drug peddlers operate in commercial vehicles to make money.

The Union therefore took a decision and cautioned our offices across the country to advise the various branches to desist from allowing drug peddlers to sell on vehicles, he said.

Mr Ofori-Davis also advised drivers to ensure that they were fit before going to work and urged station masters as well as GPRTU Guards trained by the Union to secure orderliness in stations to assess the condition of vehicles before allowing drivers to move it.

The Ag General Secretary also said the GPRTU Guards were mandated to ensure that the Union’s drivers dressed properly before sitting behind a steering wheel to drive, adding that the Union was going to enforce the rules vigorously.

He said the GPRTU in collaboration with the National Road Safety Commission was organising programmes to sensitise drivers to refrain from acts that could cause accidents such as drink-driving, speeding beyond the approved limits, wrongful overtaking, and driving while tired.

If one is tired on the road, he should park and ask for permission from the passengers to rest even if for five minutes, and then continue to prevent the occurrence of any unfortunate situation, he said.

He said the Union started a certificate awarding training for its drivers across the country over a year ago in partnership with the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training on better ways to relate to passengers, dress to work as well as road safety signs and measures.

Some people have been taking tramadol to drive and we advise them to desist from that act and ensure that they go the normal speed prescribed for them, he said.

Responding to concerns raised by some of the GPRTU Guards to use fire arms to maintain orderliness in stations, Mr Ofori-Davis said, GPRTU is not the police and the Guards only assist us in ensuring that things are done the right way.

Therefore we would not issue a gun or anything that can be used to hurt anyone.

He urged passengers who were approached unlawfully by the GPRTU Guards to demand for something to freely report them to GPRTU station masters, security or regional chairman for an action to be taken.

The Ag General Secretary said even though, drivers had been advised to register with the various lorry stations so that they could be allowed to operate freely, some were still hesitating, adding that those drivers were the most culprits of road usage.

Source: Ghana News Agency