General News of Wednesday, 13 June 2012
The Tema–Accra Mother Union of Tipper Drivers Association has appealed to authorities in the transport industry to act against the corrupt and illegal practices at the axle weigh bridge at Afienya.
Mr. Anthony Agbemehia, Chairman of the Association, said policies made by the Government concerning roads and highways were difficult to be enforced and as a result, people took undue advantage of the system to maximise profits.
He said a guideline had been put in place for all truck drivers to comply with at the axle weighing bridge at Afienya on the Ashiaman-Akosombo road and that all trucks weighing 3.5 tonnes and above were to be subjected to Axle Load Control, hence any truck driver who refused to comply committed an offence in accordance with the Road Traffic Act 683.
Addressing a press conference in Accra, Mr. Agbemehia alleged that some companies paid GH¢2,000 a month to the staff on duty to avoid going through the check at the bridge.
“Upon receiving this information about the illegal payment of monies to staff at the bridge, the Association decided to carry out its own investigation into the allegation on October, 17 and 24, 2011,” he stated.
Mr. Agbemehia said the result of the investigation was captured on camera showing the bad and corrupted practices going on at the weighing bridge.
He gave an instance where a Volvo tipper truck with registration number GR 8458-9, belonging to the Highways Mobile Maintenance Unit with 16 cubic metre capacity on three axles was allowed to pass without any check.
“When our member, however, got to the weighing bridge, he was stopped and taken through the weighing process but when he tried to enquire why the preceding trucks were not checked which were of heavy nature than what he was driving, the police officer responded that he did not see the said trucks,” Mr. Agbemehia added.
A portion of the video was displayed to the pressmen which showed how tipper trucks of certain companies were allowed to pass without going through the check whereas other truck drivers were made to stop over or their trucks were impounded.
Mr. Agbemehia said the Association was prepared to provide video evidence to authorities on all the issues raised to restore sanity into the operations of the weighing bridge at Afienya.
A tipper truck driver, sharing his experience, said he was fined for weighing one tone in excess of the prescribed load at the Afienya weighing bridge, however, he was encouraged by some members of the Association to check again at the Tema Motorway and was not charged for any excess with the explanation that, there might have been an error with the scale or filling the truck with fuel to the brim.**