Rite FM in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service and the Somanya Drivers Union on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 held its first ever road safety stakeholders forum.
Dubbed ‘Car Akwantuo Dialogue,’ the event held under the theme; Drive Alive, I‘ll Arrive Alive; Promoting Accident Free Christmas and Beyond, brought several stakeholders in the transport industry to a common dialogue at the Akutunya Lorry Park in Somanya.
The aim of the event, among others was to bring together concerned stakeholders in the road safety chain to a round table to solicit for and address the concerns of road users including pedestrians, vehicle owners, the various drivers’ unions, among other road users and stakeholders.
Another area of priority of the forum, according to the organizers was the low patronage currently being witnessed by arguably the biggest and major transport terminal in the municipality, the Akutunya lorry station.
The stakeholders maintained that promoting the needed patronage of the station will help the facility to generate the necessary revenue to boost the Internally Generated Funds of the municipality.
Mr. Anthony Asante, Branch 3 member of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union in his presentation decried the loss of revenue as a result of the neglect of the Akutunya lorry park over the years.
The Branch member while calling for the renovation of the facility said aside the park providing the necessary convenience for the travelling public, it also comes with it the opportunity to rake in lots of revenue to boost the finances of the municipal assembly.
“The major challenge confronting drivers in this area is the lack of a standard lorry park which has resulted in the massive loss of revenue to the Yilo krobo municipal assembly and there is therefore the need to undertake some rehabilitation of the Akutunya lorry park to serve as a source of revenue,” he opined.
Providing statistics to announce the state of insecurity on the roads, Commander of the Yilo Krobo Municipal Motor Traffic Transport Directorate, Inspector Alexander Nafam disclosed that the municipality in 2017 recorded 10 accident related death cases.
The figure, he however noted, has reduced drastically in 2018 to just 3 deaths with just about two weeks to the end of the year.
The Commander of the Yilo Krobo Municipal Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate, MTTD however expressed worry over the lack of road signs and park locks in the area to guide drivers and other road users.
He added that, external influence from leaders in the municipality kept intimidating the effective execution of their responsibilities.
Inspector Nafam also regretted the rampant use of invalid driving licenses by drivers and he called on the Municipal Chief Executive to address the rising incidents of gang funerals which he described as disturbing.
Responding to the myriad of concerns raised by the various stakeholders at the forum, Municipal Chief Executive for Yilo Krobo, Honorable Ebenezer Tetteh Kupualor noted that the inability of passengers to patronize the various lorry parks in the municipality is ample testimony of the lack of unity among driver unions and drivers.
The assembly chief said as part of efforts to address these concerns, the assembly will in the coming year embark on a massive rehabilitation of the lorry park in 2019 in addition to the many road signage in the municipality.
Honorable Ebenezer Tetteh Kupualor as part of efforts to nib the canker of irresponsible driving habits in the municipality in the bud charged men of the Yilo Krobo Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate to arrest and prosecute any driver that flouts the law in any way including drivers who load on the streets.
Personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service and Ambulance Services who also spoke at the programme called on road users to embrace the Service which is for humanitarian services and not just for fire controlling and emergencies.
Other stakeholders who spoke at the event included the Director of National Commission for Civic Education, Madam Cynthia Mamle Tetteh who advised the drivers to prioritize their lives when driving and avoid alcohol to maintain a healthy life.
The program was graced by various dignitaries including Municipal Chief Executive for Yilo Krobo, Honorable Ebenezer Tetteh Kupualor, personnel from the Yilo Krobo Command of the Ghana National Fire Service, representatives from the Ambulance Service, the Yilo Krobo Command of the MTTD, NCCE Director for Yilo Krobo, National Disaster Management Organization, NADMO Director, Drivers Unions, Insurance Companies among others.