Drivers and cyclists undergo refresher training at UMaT

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Drivers

Six hundred and forty cyclists, commercial and institutional drivers in Tarkwa-Nsuaem and Prestea Huni-Valley Municipalities, have undergone an intensive refresher training in various driving skills at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa.

The training, which was organized by the Disaster and Emergency (D&E) management Hub of the University, was to help in the promotion of road safety in the two municipalities.

The participants were taken through topics such as defensive driving and vehicle management, road safety and traffic regulation, road user indiscipline, emergency response, fire safety and fire fighting, drunk driving, substance abuse and security.

Personnel were from the Driver, Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA), Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD), National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), National Ambulance Service (NAS), Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) and AngloGold Ashanti Iduapriem Limited, (AAIL).

An emergency response simulation was also organized to enhance the preparedness of stakeholders in emergency management in Tarkwa.

Addressing a durbar to climax the programme, where all the participants were presented with certificates, Professor Anthony Simons, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UMaT, said the programme was organized, following a survey in which the various driver unions agreed to a refresher course.

He said, “It is our expectation that after going through this programme our roads would be safe and lives would be protected because the figures on road accidents are scary.”

“From September 2020 to 2021 COVID had killed 1,158 people but road accidents had claimed over 3,800 lives and so as the country strives to prevent the COVID pandemic, we should do the same to curb road accidents,” Prof. Simons noted.

Chief Inspector Evans Grunitzky of the Tarkwa Divisional MTTD told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that road accidents were on the increase within the Municipality since the beginning of the year.

However, since the training programme began in September, there has been discipline, especially among drivers who operate in Tarkwa.

He commended the drivers, who participated in the training, and advised them to be responsible on the road to avoid accidents.

Mr Benjamin Kessie, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality, lauded UMaT for initiating the programme and reiterated that “the assembly would soon make the programme one of its key requirements in issuing permits to all commercial drivers and cyclists who want to operate in the municipality.”

“It is our belief that all drivers who have gone through this training would incorporate its benefits in their work as this will help reduce the rate of road accidents and loss of lives”.

The Project Manager, Dr Eric Stem, expressed his appreciation to the DVLA Manager of Tarkwa, Mr David Amankwah for personally taking it upon himself to facilitate all the training sessions on defensive driving and vehicle management.

According to him, the Disaster and Emergency Management Hub (DEM-Hub) of the University was one of the specialized hubs established by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Richard Amankwah, to ensure maximum community impact.

He said with a key mandate to bring together stakeholders in Disaster & Emergency management and ensure proper coordination of their activities, DEM-Hub was not only responsible for handling issues of safety and emergency management on campus but a key stakeholder in disaster and emergency efforts in the country.

Many of the drivers expressed gratitude to UMaT and the other stakeholders for their commitment and dedication throughout the training period.

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