Source: TV3network.com - Commercial drivers resumed work at the Ashaiman main lorry terminal and other places after striking on Monday against what they termed unfriendly regulations to be implemented by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, DVLA.
A group of drivers who suddenly formed themselves into an association called the committed drivers, left commuters stranded in Ashaiman, Nungua, Teshie and a few other parts of the country, as they refused to work.
They protested against the DVLA's decision to enforce some regulations that were passed by Parliament in 2004.
The directives, introduced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), among other things, include the need for all passengers in buses and taxis to wear seat belts and the need for drivers to attain a certain minimum level of education before they are allowed to drive.
The new directives have provoked lots of anger amongst commercial drivers across the country. The drivers claim it is virtually impossible to have all passengers strapped in seat belts due to structural difficulties arising out of the how their vehicles were made.
Some of the protests turned violent especially at Ashaiman, leading to the arrest of some thirty-three drivers for blocking roads in and attempting to destroy property in Ashaiman, Teshie-Nungua and its environs.
But according to the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) Chairman for Ashaiman, Alex Kyeremeh, all agitated commercial drivers have been asked to resume work following a decision by the DVLA to suspend the implementation until further notice.
According to Mr. Kyeremeh, he personally received a distress call from the DVLA Chief Executive confirming the latest development.
"Fortunately for us, the Chief Executive of the DVLA called me that Government has come out to day that the directive should be suspended immediately until further notice. So we are praying that they should all go back to their workplaces".
The Transport Ministry had been engaged in meetings over the development with all relevant stakeholders to find an amicable resolution.
The Vice-Chairman of the Transport Committee of Parliament, Tetteh Chaie, is urging calm in the wake of the violent protests that have greeted the implementation of the directives.
On the directive to drivers to acquire a minimum education before qualifying for a driver’s license, Tetteh Chaie explained to Accra-based Joy FM, that the law is not necessarily for the old drivers but for the new ones who are yet to be issued with driving licenses.
He regretted that some of the drivers cannot read and understand simple road signs, a phenomenon he noted was recipe for disaster.
He said as a nation some of these laws must be put in place to ensure we don’t lose money and human resource through needless deaths resulting from accidents.
Inadequate public education
Meanwhile a former Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Rtd Victor Tandoh, now a road safety campaigner, has told TV3, the regulation is not new insisting the drivers were notified of this in 2004 when Parliament passed the laws.
He however believes there had not been ample education before the latest announcement to implement the policy.
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