‘Commercial drivers must belong to unions’
The Ghana Road Transport Co-ordinating Council (GRTCC) has explained that the era when individuals acquired commercial vehicles and operated them without belonging to any recognised transport organisation is over.
It has explained further that all ‘roaming drivers’ need not necessarily belong to existing associations. They could form new associations and be registered to operate under the new Urban Transport Project (UTP).
Mr Ben Amoabeng Peprah, the Chairman of the GRTCC, said this at a news conference organised by the steering committee on Urban transportation in Accra yesterday.
He explained that ‘roaming drivers’, also referred to as ‘floating drivers’, had not been banned from operating but were required to join associations under the new law regulating the operations of commercial vehicles under the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).
Regulation 121 subsections (1) and (2) of Legislative Instrument 2180 (2012), provide: ‘A person shall not operate a commercial vehicle unless that person holds a road transport operator’s licence’ and ‘A person shall not operate as a commercial vehicle driver unless that person is employed by or belongs to a recognised commercial road transport organisation.’
Last Tuesday, some taxi drivers in Accra blocked part of the Accra-Nsawam road to protest what they described as persistent harassment by members of the Traffic Security Task Force of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The drivers blocked a portion of the Abeka Junction stretch of the Accra-Nsawam road for over two hours, a development which created traffic congestion and caused much inconvenience to the public.
Specifically, the protest was against a directive from the AMA to all taxi drivers in the metropolis to register with particular lorry stations or join transport unions.
That, the drivers said, was not feasible.
Mr Peprah condemned the drivers’ action and said those involved had not been part of the process to establish the UTP and were ‘ignorant and not abreast of recent developments in the road transport industry’.
He appealed to drivers who did not belong to any union to either do so or form a union which he said would be recognised.
The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Nii Djanmah Vanderpuye, explained that the move was to make the roads safer and also to ensure free flow of commercial transport within the region.
Under the project, he explained unionised drivers would be assisted to purchase buses to operate the bus rapid terminal transportation.
By Donald Ato Dapatem/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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