Regional News of 2013-12-29

Keep deaths off roads – Drivers told

Three key players in the Effutu Municipal administration at the weekend strongly advised commercial and private vehicle operators to do all they can to ensure accident-free period, between now, the New Year, and even beyond.
To this end, the three leading opinion leaders have charged drivers in and outside the municipality to desist from all unwanted acts that can develop and eventually hatch fatal accidents on the roads.
Nii Ephraim, Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, Reverend Eldad Bonney, Presiding Member of the Municipal Assembly and Reverend John Opoku, Effutu Municipal Police Commander spoke to the Ghana News Agency in separate interviews at Winneba as part of the Yuletide festivities.
According to the three officers, recent reports on road accidents showed that careless driving, over-speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as recalcitrant drivers who receive or make phone calls while driving, and wrongful overtaking, were the major causes of brutal road accidents in the various regions.
Nii Ephraim urged leaders of the Ghana Roads Transport Union (GPRTU) branches in the municipality to wake up from their slumber and team up with the Police seriously to check recalcitrant commercial drivers in the area with the view to injecting a high sense of discipline and sanity into the driving profession.
He said the country cannot develop without the active involvement of commercial drivers because they convey workers of all categories, including petty traders, farmers, fishermen, school children, teachers and businessmen, from one destination to another each day.
It is, therefore, imperative for key stakeholders of the driving profession, especially the GPRTU and other bodies to offer commercial drivers continuous and intensive education on the road safety aspect of their work.
For his part, the Municipal Assembly Presiding Member, Rev Eldad Bonney, stressed the need for churches, Islamic movements and other religious organisations throughout the country, to educate drivers in their churches and other sects on road safety principles through sermons.
Rev Bonney said due to the way and manner the nation is recording fatal road accidents in recent times “we need not wait for occasions like Christmas and Easter festivities to occur before we intensify our sensitization on safe driving.”
He said that every citizen must be schooled enough to cultivate and maintain deep sense of safe-driving attitude right from infancy through formative stage to adulthood.
Rev Bonney said that when this is done people of all ages would be bold to challenge and where necessary report the conduct and behavior of stubborn drivers to the Police for immediate action against them.
Commenting on road accidents, Rev John Opoku, the Effutu Municipal Police Commander said the fact that a few accidents have been recorded during the Christmas festivities in some parts of the country, does not imply that the nation is free from the dangers of motor accidents
“We must continue to intensify our public education on safe-driving at all levels, by reminding drivers that a majority of holiday makers are still in the countryside and would soon be returning to their various workplaces during and after the weekend.”
Rev Opoku therefore cautioned both commercial and private vehicle operators, particularly those who would be plying the country’s major highways like, Accra-Takoradi, Cape Coast-Accra, Kumasi-Accra, Aflao-Accra, Kumasi-Tamale and others, to always place a high premium on the lives of passengers they carry on their vehicles from one destination to another and on their own lives.
The Commander said this way, drivers would be offering excellent services to the nation and themselves.