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Regional News of Friday, 24 August 2007

Source: GNA

Road Safety Commission to establish information desks at lorry stations

Hohoe, Aug. 24, GNA - The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) on Thursday announced that the Commission, transport unions and other agencies connected to the transport industry are to establish information and complaint desks at all major lorry stations nationwide. Mr Elvis Gbesemete, Volta Regional Coordinator of the NRSC said the office, which would be equipped with state-of-the-art communication devices would further be responsible for issuing clearance to loading vehicles and tracking those in transit, all tailored towards safeguarding safety of drivers, passengers and vehicles.

Mr Gbesemete made this disclosure at the launch of the Donewell's road safety campaign and Volta Regional Best Driver Award Scheme at Hohoe on the theme: "Promoting Safety and Courtesy on our Roads". He said this was one of the policies earmarked towards making commercial travelling comfortable and stress-free while taking cognisance of the evolving competitiveness of the transport industry. Mr Gbesemete said there were averagely 1,700 deaths countrywide from road accidents with about 45 percent of these deaths involving pedestrians whereas the Volta Region recorded average deaths of 170 every year.

He said the Region recorded a reduction of 36 percent fatality rate in the first half of the year compared to the previous year. Mr Gbesemete advised drivers to invest in their vehicles than in the police on the roads saying, "If drivers can give, the police can also receive".

Mr Kingsley Di-Gozah, C hairman of the Hohoe branch Two of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), urged the government to promulgate a law to ban the use of mobile phones by both commercial and private drivers while driving as well as passengers on commercial vehicles. He explained that a driver in motion could be detracted by a phone call in the instance of a bad news such as the dead of a spouse or relative with the passengers using their phones to link up with armed robbers for attacks as being witnessed in recent times. Mr John Peter Amewu, District Chief Executive assured the people that government would honour its pledge towards providing good road infrastructure.

He urged road users, especially commercial drivers to reciprocate this gesture by using the road responsibly.

Mr Francis Acheampong, Marketing Manager of Donewell Insurance Company said the Company's gesture on road safety was to complement government's efforts and reward drivers for their role in nation building noting that "Without the contribution of the driver the economy would be at a standstill".

He said the Company's value addition was the quarterly awards schemes awaiting the grandeur by the close of the year, with prizes ranging from cars to electrical appliances, airline tickets and weeks' stay in a plush hotel stating "nominations are exclusive only by the travelling public".

Assistant Superintende nt of Police, Mr Simpson Abotsi, in-charge of the Volta Region Motor Transport and Traffic Unit (MTTU) said the cardinal purpose of the police on the roads was to enforce traffic regulation, check traffic indiscipline and reduce the carnage on the roads adding, "the best driver was the one who reaches his destination safely and not the one who reaches earliest".

Mr Noah Domingo, a driver on the Hohoe-Fodome road with 19 years of unblemished driving experience was nominated for the first quarter awards.

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