Transport Unions and commercial drivers in the Bono Region have lauded the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) for the enforcement of the use of approved lights to control road crashes and fatalities.
Regulation 65 of the Legislative Instrument (LI) 2081, 2012 requires all commercial vehicles in the country to use approved head and fog lights certified by the DVLA.
Subsequently, the Bono Regional Office of the NRSA set up a task force for strict enforcement of approved and standard lights on vehicles.
During an enforcement exercise by the task force on major roads in the regional capital in the early hours of Thursday, the drivers expressed the hope the task force would sustain enforcement to prevent accidents and needless deaths on the roads.
The task force comprised the NRSA, Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA), Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) and Transport Unions, including Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMTL).
Other members include Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), OA Transport and IO Ampofo Transport.
Though many of the commercial drivers, who had fixed auxiliary lights on their vehicles to enhance visibility, were initially uncomfortable about the exercise, they admitted if sustained the enforcement would greatly reduce the carnages on the roads.
Mr Emmanuel Adjei Bekoe, the Traffic Officer of the IO Ampofo Transport, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) many of the accidents on the road happened as a result of bad lighting systems on vehicles.
“Some of the lights fixed on vehicles are very high and affect the visibility of drivers coming from the opposite direction and I think the Authority is doing a good job but my problem is sustainability,” he said.
Mr Joseph Nimo, a 207 Benz bus driver, who said he plied on the Berekum-Sunyani-Kumasi highway called on the task force to intensify and replicate the enforcement in all parts of the region.
This would greatly help to bring sanity on the roads and reduce road accidents, particularly during Easter and Christmas, periods when the rate of accidents increased.
“Actually as for this one we are all at fault because it is always difficult to journey at night because of the unpleasant nature of unapproved lights fixed on vehicles”, he said.
Mr Kwasi Agyenim Boateng, the Bono Regional Head of the NRSA, who took many of the drivers through portions of Regulation 65 advised them to cooperate and comply with the law.
“The enforcement exercise is in the supreme interest of drivers, passengers and the entire nation,” he said, adding the exercise would be extended at night and cautioned drivers to dismantle all unproved and auxiliary lights on their vehicles.
Mr Boateng reminded the drivers that accidents prevention was a shared and collective responsibility and warned offending drivers would be prosecuted.
Police Superintendent Stephen Tenkorang, the Bono Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD), who led the task force, said drivers who breached Regulation 65 were liable for a sentence between 25 and 50 penalty units or imprisonment of not less than 30 days or both.
He expressed concern about the increasing cases of road crashes, saying road accidents had recorded 53 deaths in the region between January and June this year.
Supt. Tenkorang explained the MTTD and the NRSA had intensified public education on Regulation 65 on radio stations as well as lorry and bus terminals, indicating drivers who breached the Regulations had no justification to escape prosecution.