Commercial drivers in the Sekond-Takoradi Metropolis of Western Region have reminded government about its promise leading to this year’s general election to create opportunities for the transport sector business to thrive.
According to them, prior to the 2020 elections, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government promised to institute a scheme that would support drivers to buy their own vehicles when re-elected.
This, the drivers said, was a promise they were eagerly waiting on the government to bring about as it would enable them to cater for their families and improve their living standards.
Abraham Mensah, a driver at the Cape Coast station in Takoradi, said many drivers desired to buy their own vehicles, but did not have the means.
He called on the government to support them through a “work and pay” agreement system or a subsidized means to acquire their own vehicles.
Sharing their expectations of the newly elected government, they implored the new administration to institute measures to regulate the unseasonal increment in fuel prices.
“It will be better for fuel prices to be increased at a rate, where drivers can out-rightly increase transport fares rather than raising them marginally at short intervals,” Mr John Abu Kwofie, a driver at the Takoradi-Cape Coast Station, said.
He complained that the regular marginal increases in fuel prices affected their incomes and ultimately their standard of living.
Mr. Emmanuel Owusu Afriyie, a Station Master at Takoradi-Cape Coast Station, expressed worry about the increasing number of road accidents and called for effective stakeholder collaboration to mitigate the rate of accidents on the road.
He urged the government to resource the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to fix more precautionary signs on the road and expressed worry about the mounting of unauthorised speed ramps on the highways posing a threat to safe driving.
He appealed to the government to check the construction of such unauthorised speed ramps, and suggested highlighters be fixed on ramps as safety measures to guide drivers at night.
Mr Steven Esuah, a leader at the station, called for the construction of dual carriage roads on major routes linking major cities of the country.
Many of the drivers lamented the manner in which some police officers extorted monies from them on the road.”It has become mandatory to give police officers money and if you are unable to do so, they will find means of faulting you just to extort money from you,” a driver said.
Another said, “If there are five police checks on the way and each is taking GHS5 that would affect the income accrued by the end of the day.”
“We plead with the government to ensure that such corrupt acts are checked.” The drivers also urged the government to set up an award scheme for best drivers like farmers and fishermen to encourage them to work harder, to reduce road accidents.