Private drivers must take refresher courses

Tema- Private vehicles drivers have been advised by the Motor Traffic and Transit Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to periodically participate in driving refresher courses.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Joseph Owusu Bempah, Tema Regional MTTD Commander, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said it was about time that private drivers received additional sensitization on driving dangers and techniques.

ACP Owusu Bempah observed that more private vehicles were getting involved in accidents than the commercial ones saying it was worrying to note that some private drivers drove carelessly on the roads.

According to him, whereas the various driver unions and companies organized numerous sensitization programmes for their drivers, there was nothing for private drivers adding that private drivers acquire licenses to drive and that is the end.

He disclosed that the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) for instance had strict rules with sanctions that barred its members from drunk driving and other road offences stressing that an offender of such rules could even be expelled from the stations.

He stated for instance that during the Christmas holidays whereas two minibuses were involved in accidents in the Tema Police Region, seven saloon cars and one SUV crashed leading to four and three serious and minor injuries respectively with one death.

He added that four motorbikes and one bicycle were also involved in accidents during the period leading to the death on one person.

ACP Owusu Bempah said motor riders were also another big challenge his outfit faced as they did not obey road traffic laws leading to them crushing into vehicles especially the trucks.

He said the MTTD in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) would continue to sensitize drivers and cyclists on the dos and don’ts of driving in the country.

The Tema MTTD Commander indicated that even though it would be ideal to have cameras on the entire streets to monitor the activities of drivers, the Ghana Police Service was logistically constraint therefore the need for officers to physically be on the street to enforce traffic and transport rules.

We cannot wait for cameras to be fixed on all Ghanaian roads before enforcing the law, so we are doing the needful by being on the roads till we get the necessary logistics. The people know the law and are well educated but they will still misbehave when the police are not on the road.

He called for stricter punishment to be meted out to road offenders saying the law made provision for a fine, custodian sentence or both but most of the time, traffic offenders were only giving fines which they readily pay and commit the same offence again.

He appealed to the courts to consider sentencing offenders to jail terms even if for some weeks to deter others from perpetrating the same crimes.

Source: Ghana News Agency