A total of 128 drivers have been arrested by the Ashanti Regional Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) for violating various road regulations.
This is according to the MTTD commander in the Ashanti region, Supt. Emmanuel Adu Boahen. The Police made the arrests after they launched a campaign on Thursday as part of efforts to clamp down on indiscipline on roads within the region.
The Ashanti Regional MTTD in collaboration with the National Road Safety Commission and the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority, DVLA, launched the campaign to ensure sanity on the roads in the region.
Speaking to the media, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Police Commander, ACP David Agyemang Adjem, noted that road accident statistics in the region are worrying, hence the need to intensify enforcement of road traffic regulations.
He said 1,921 road accidents were recorded in the first 6 months of this year, resulting in 240 deaths and 2,309 injuries.
According to him, the Ashanti Region records about 10 accidents each day, which averagely results in 11 injuries and two deaths, hence the exercise to make public transport much safer and comfortable.
“For the first six months of this year, we have had a total of 1,921 road traffic accidents. Out of these, we have had 240 deaths and 2309 injuries. From these figures, we deduced that our region records about ten accidents each day and about 11 injuries every day and the shocking one is that, we lose two persons every day in the region. We think this is too much and we need to do something about it. So the regional command has decided that we are going to put a number of measures in place to reduce deaths and of course, to make passengers a bit more comfortable. So we will check things like over speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, wrongful overtaking, unlicensed drivers, under-aged drivers and we will look at substandard vehicles that are on the road.
A similar exercise organized earlier by the MTTD led to the arrest of 15 persons and 9 cars were impounded.
Friday’s exercise which covered various areas in the region led to the arrest of 128 persons.
The MTTD Commander in the Ashanti Region, Supt. Emmanuel Adu Boahen told Citi News the exercise will be sustained.
“In total, we have 128 drivers that were arrested with respect to the operation that was carried out. I must say that we did not start this operation just today (Thursday). We gave a two-week prior notice to them through the media houses. Even after the expiration of the two weeks, we also added another two weeks so that those who haven’t heard it or haven’t taken advantage of it will do so. We have just started with the processes. After the process and we find out that the person is culpable, then we will process them and continue with the prosecution process”.
Most of the drivers were arrested for having an unapproved number of seats in their vehicles.
Some of them who spoke to Citi News called for the process of enforcing the laws to be reconsidered.
“I can’t do anything about it. The Police say they have arrested me. They also said per the regulations, persons who are below 25 years cannot be commercial drivers. In my case, when I left school, I was about 14 years. I secured a license shortly after that and I have been driving but the police just arrested me saying I am not up to 25 years. What should I do then? Should I go and steal or commit murder? They should tell me what to do or they should give me a job,” one quizzed.
Another driver said “when the car was brought to Ghana, it was licensed that it could carry 15 persons but the Police says we should make it carry 12 persons. The DVLA too during road worthy registrations, they classify it as a vehicle that should carry 15 persons. This means that the directive is not been implemented properly.”
“Our main challenge is that, with the cars that the Police say we should make it three seats instead of four, it does not help us make more money. We are unable to make enough money at the end of the day. The Police too take money from us at times which reduces the amount we are supposed to get in a day,” he indicated.