MINISTER for Transport, Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah, has declared war on lawless and careless driving practices of drivers, saying that the lawless drinking kills’ human being and caused damaging to valuable properties.
He stressed that his administration would foster effective partnership with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service and other relevant road service stakeholders and providers to strictly fight lawless driving practices of drivers to reduce fatalities on the country’s highways and roads.
The sector minister further stressed that he would ensure that the days of indiscriminate lawless driving practices of the drivers would soon be over.
He added that a special policy and strategy have been initiated by the government through his ministry to assist the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), MTTD and other various road safety instructions in the fight against the canker of indiscriminate lawless driving practices of the drivers in the country.
The Transport Minister who made this known when he was addressing journalists at a two- day media engagement workshop held in Elmina in Cape Cost over the weekend, called on media to help him to deliver road transport delivery services to Ghanaians devoid of road any carnage.
The workshop which was organised by the Ministry of Transport and supported by the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and Drivers Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) was aimed at updating the media on the innovative steps and strategies adopted by the Transport Ministry to reduce fatalities on the roads in the country.
He, however, appealed to traditional leaders and media to collaborate with government in its fight against the carnage on the roads, revealing that the government has released about GH¢6.5 million to embark on the road safety campaign.
Explaining to the media of the steps he is taking to reduce fatalities on the country’s highways following media reports of an escalation, Mr Asiamah said his outfit has started effective road safety campaign meant to create awareness of the rules and regulations governing driving and the use of motorbikes and cautioned riders and drivers against violation of those rules and regulations.
The Transport Minister promised that his outfit would continue to carry out the campaign with the MTTD on regular basis and advised drivers and motorbike users to ensure that documents covering their motorbikes and vehicles were genuine.
He stressed that his out would continue to work with the MTTD of the Ghana Police Service to impound motorbikes and vehicles in the country in an exercise to bring sanity on the roads, saying that the law of the country stipulates it is illegal and offence to use motorbike to do commercial business.
Offences that led to the seizure were driving and riding unregistered vehicles and motorbikes, driving and riding without licence, riding motorbikes without wearing helmet, using fake documents, driving vehicles with expired insurance and driving and riding non-insured vehicles and motorbikes.
For his part, the Director in charge of Planning and Programming at the NRSC, Ing. David Osafo Adonteng called on all and sundry particularly the media to help stop road traffic accidents and indicated NRSC’s preparedness to reduce fatalities on the nation’s roads through a multi-faceted approach.
He expressed worry over the rising number of deaths recorded through road accidents, describing it as unfortunate and unacceptable.
He directed the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department to control indiscipline of motorists.
He said NRSC statistics showed a decrease in road accidents in 2015 but an increase in 2016.
“Compared to the situation in the same period in the year 2014, there were reductions in cases reported and vehicles involved in road traffic crashes by 17.3% and 17.02% respectively.
“Again, there were reductions in the number of deaths and injuries by 12% and 19% in 2015 over that of the figures recorded in 2014,” he said.
According to him the NRSC estimate put the total number of lives lost in 2016 at 2,198 representing an increase of 5.64 compared to the figure for 2015,.
He indicated that although there was reduction, there are more things need to done to minimize carnage on the roads in the country.
DVLA to change number plate registration regime for articulated trucks
The number to be displayed in front of the trucks will be different from the one behind the trailers
For part, Director for Vehicle Inspection and Registration at DVLA George Ackom, noted that the authority will from June 2019 change the number plate regime for articulated vehicles.
The change will see the issuance of separate license plates for the vehicles and the trailers.
The number to be displayed in front of the vehicles will, therefore, be different from the number displayed behind the trailers.
Currently, all articulated and trailers display the same license plates at the front and back.
He says the current situation is problematic because trailers are detachable from the dragging vehicle.
He argued further that because trailers are not separately registered, owners do not properly maintain them.
He said the policy is in line with international best practices.
“We have been talking about the implementation of registering trailers separate from the trailer heads. We are observing that the non-operationalization of this provision is creating road safety issues and operating issues where other neighbouring countries have registered their trailers but Ghanaians trailers when they load goods and they travel outside the borders, they encounter problems,” he said.
He explained that the plan to have both elements registered separately has long existed in the country’s road safety regulations but have not been implemented.
“This has been and existing provision in the road traffic regulation LI 2180 and till date, we have not been able to operationalize it….We are not going by the dictates of the Geneva convention of 1954 that trailers are regarded as vehicles that must be registered separately from the head that draws it,” he said stressing that the Authority is now intends to ensure that the regulation is duly adhered to.
Story: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU
Writer’s email Freeman.email@example.com