The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has called for a closer partnership with the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate of the Ghana Police Service to check road fatalities.
NACOB believes that firming up such a collaboration would inspire due diligence in the issuance and renewal of driving licenses and help flush out drivers on drugs including those using tramadol and heroin.
Mr Charles Kanneo, the Upper West Regional Deputy Commander of NACOB, who made the call at a road safety campaign in Nandom, said the DVLA is currently handicapped in “testing and identifying” persons on drugs before issuing them licence.
But NACOB which has the capacity with regards to equipment and personnel, he said, could work closely with the licensing authority and other road safety agencies including the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) to stamp out drivers on drugs and reduce accidents on the road.
“There is the need to collaborate to sieve out and get the right drivers,” he added: “DVLA has nothing to test and identify people on drugs”.
Mr Kanneo called on management of OA Transport and VIP Jeoun Transport Services among others to recruit at least two drivers for their buses travelling long distances just like STC currently operates to reduce stress and tiredness among drivers.
“Transport unions and transport owners should up their games by recruiting professional drivers and motivate them with regular training and good salary,” he said.
The NACOB official urged the educational institutions to reconsider the current practice of vacating schools on the eve of Christmas holidays which normally places excessive pressure on drivers, forcing many of them to rush and opt for drugs in order to stay awake.
Mr Sumaila Sensau, Upper West Regional Deputy Manager of DVLA, said road safety is a shared responsibility which requires everyone to play a role, adding: “Beginning 2019, the DVLA is going to have free training for students, chiefs and other stakeholders”.
The DVLA also intends to roll out an electronic registration system next year which would require Tax Identification Number (TIN) before one can access their services adding “we are offering our services free of charge”.
The Good Heart Foundation in collaboration with NRSC organised the campaign to sensitise the public on road safety matters particularly with respect to the use of crush helmets, speeding and drunk riding or driving.