Government is set to introduce an annual mandatory refresher training in driving and road safety for commercial drivers, which will be undertaken prior to the renewal of their driving licences.
The exercise will be spearheaded by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Transport, Kweku Ofori Asiamah, at the launch of Ehyen Transport Service held at the University of Professional Studies yesterday.
Regulations 33 and 125 of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2180) enjoins commercial vehicle drivers to attend a mandatory refresher course in driving and road safety prior to renewing of their driving licences.
Road traffic fatalities
Government will also implement the installation of speed limiters and tachographs on commercial vehicles with gross weight of 3.5 metric tons and above, as prescribed in Regulation 135 of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, L.I. 2180.
Further to that, the Minister disclosed that the government would also intensify the enforcement of regulations on travel speeds, wearing of seatbelts and crash helmets, Pedestrian Jay-walking, among others.
He said the policy directives and measures were spurred by the rising traffic fatalities and injuries in the country, saying they “are meant to reverse the rising trend of road traffic fatalities.”
“It is common knowledge that the act of indiscipline and reckless attitude of some road users are the contributory factors to traffic fatalities and injuries on our roads. We cannot achieve much if we do not change our behaviours on the road,” he noted.
He called on road users, especially drivers and pedestrians, to exhibit discipline and responsibility whilst driving, walking along or crossing the road.
“Let us work together to compliment Government’s efforts at ensuring safety on our roads,” the Minister said.
He commended those behind the Ehyen initiative, a wholly Ghanaian ingenuity which offers opportunities for both drivers and users in the form of increased choices and lower costs of transport. It comes with a lot of bonuses, commissions and benefits for its customers and drivers.
Mr Asiamah assured them of the government’s assistance needed to sustain the business “so that the benefits are not eroded”.
It has insurance cover for the drivers on the Ehyen platform while drivers on the platform only pay 10 per cent as commission, by far the lowest in the market. Ehyen also offers rental services which include luxurious vehicles, trucks and buses.
A total of 200 vehicles have been made available to drivers, with the initiators of the technological drive saying it would be scaled up to 500 by end of the year. The initiative offers employment for over 500 Ghanaians.