Regional News Tue, 13 Jul 2010

Committee cited negligence/indiscipline for Graphic road accident

Accra, July 13, GNA - Mr Samuel Barnes of Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), on Tuesday said negligence and indiscipline on the part of a Metro Mass bus driver caused the accident on the Graphic road in May this year.

He said the driver ignored all precautions when there was heavy vehicular traffic at a level crossing. However, Mr Barnes, who chaired a six-member Committee that investigated the incident, said inadequate communication equipments at the level crossing could also be a factor. He was presenting the Committee's report at the Ministry of Transport in Accra.

The Committee recommended that there should be a zone marked out on the rails where drivers should not cross immediately, unless they were sure there was no train approaching. "As a driver when you get to a level crossing, you must stop, watch and listen carefully," it added. The Committee also recommended that the Police should monitor drivers on level crossing and said the need for massive education, and demolition of structures around rail lines would help prevent future occurrences. The Committee was set up to investigate the cause of the accident which involved an Accra-Nsawam bound train and a Metro Mass Transit bus at a railway crossing on the Graphic road.

Other terms of reference of the Committee were to identify whether there was any human negligence and to make relevant recommendations to prevent future accidents at all railway crossings. In another development, another Committee set up to investigate alleged financial mismanagement in the operations of Intercity State Transport Corporation (ISTC), presented their report. The Committee chaired by Mr Abu Millah, identified that road clearance monies were not accounted to the management, revenue from sale of tickets in foreign currencies were not converted into cedis through the bank, and payment for second-hand equipment and spare parts for the buses in the past were not recorded. It said a piece of land within the premises of ISTC that was sold had not been paid and there was an unsigned contract between the managements of SVANI and ISTC for the supply of some buses. Mr Millah said these were serious issues, which required immediate attention to uplift the image of the company in Ghana and abroad. Mrs Dzifa Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transport receiving the reports, said the Ministry would implement recommendations made to improve the transport sector.

Source: GNA