PFAG collaborates with Police to guide road users

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Road Users Ghana
Road Users Ghana

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) in partnership with the Ghana Police Service has developed a flyer for road users, especially truck drivers.

The flyer is to provide road tips and guidelines for improved movement of goods across the highway in the country.
Mr Awal Wepia Addo, the President of PFAG, speaking at the launch of the flyer, said the development of the flyer was a testament to the commitment of PFAG to foster relationships between all actors to ensure that adequate food is available for all.

He said indeed, when PFAG collaborated with the Service to organize the awareness creation workshop last year in Tamale, many might have thought it was one of the usual exercises where the expected outcomes are not followed through.

He said PFAG and Ghana Police Service was able to work together and effectively to ensure the development of these flyers with funding from OXFAM.

“The development of the flyers is very necessary considering the unpleasant experiences that road users share regarding the attitude of some police personnel on the road,” he added.

He said while it was worth noting that the Police have their role and mandate to ensure law and order and they have some excellent personnel, who execute their mandate with high levels of professionalism and integrity.
Mr Addo said the excesses of some of their personnel to deliberately delay, frustrate and extort money from road users was very unfortunate.

The President said it became even worse when it was applied to truck drivers, who were carting agricultural goods and inputs across the major highways in Ghana.

He said there were countless stories of truck drivers, carrying perishable produce such as tomatoes, onions, yam and other vegetables, who have been unduly stopped by Police for unnecessary checks, requesting for unnecessary documents, seeking unnecessary information all to extort monies from them.

“Failure of these drivers to surrender monies to them results in the confiscation of these goods for long periods of time, sometimes resulting in their spoilage by the time they are released,” he said.

Mr Addo said ironically, there were instances too, where these Police personnel failed to conduct adequate checks on some truck drivers, who were not carrying the right documentation, but they were granted easy passes just because they parted with good monies.

The President said these developments had led to diversion, stealing and smuggling of major agricultural products such as fertilizer, which comes at a high cost to the actors involved.

“The actions and inaction of this personnel lead to high production costs, post-harvest losses and increasing food prices which are unbearable for the average Ghanaian,” he added.

He advised road users to abide by the transport and traffic laws and regulations, saying the deliberate attempts by some road users to use cunning means to sidestep traffic laws must be discouraged.

Mr Addo said there were numerous instances of drivers carrying expired or fake licenses, expired or no roadworthy documents, inadequate documentation covering their loads, engaging in over-speeding and dangerous driving and overloading, with most of these drivers bribing their way out of these illegalities.

He said while some of these actions and inactions on the part of both police and road users were deliberate, others were due to ignorance, misunderstanding or misapplication of the law.

It is in this light, that it is worth commending PFAG and the Ghana Police Service for collaborating to develop these flyers that spells out in simple terms what each stakeholder ought to know.

Chief Superintendent Dr Samuel Sasu-Mensah, the Director of Operations at the Motor Transport and Traffic Division of the Ghana Police Service, said the flyer had the “Do’s and Dont’s” for truck drivers.
He said driver must not drink and drive and they should not drive without a valid driver’s licence.
“Do not pay any money to any Police officer who stops you for breach of traffic offence,” he said.

He advised that drivers should not drive any agricultural goods or produce without the right documentation
On the advice to the Police, he said trade facilitation was not a threat to safety and security and numerous roadblocks and control was not a solution to insecurity and safety on our roads
He said harassment and numerous stops lead to delays and food spoilage and post-harvest losses leading to increases in prices of agricultural goods.

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