The Joint Association of Port Transport Unions (JAPTU) has officially launched a tow service project with the Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL) to move broken down haulage trucks of its members.
Mr Ibrahim Musah, JAPTU General Secretary speaking at the launch said the Association made up of 12 port transport with over 4,000 trucks negotiated with the RSMSL to tow its broken-down trucks to safer grounds at an annual registration fee of GHs450.00 per truck.
He said the agreement was also for the Company to repair minor mechanical faults that may develop on such trucks on the road, adding that 10 per cent of the registration fee would also go to the Association.
He said JAPTU members which included the transporters from the landlocked countries, must contend with problems of road safety – abandoned broken down trucks on the country’s roads.
He noted that it was worrying for the services of the truck drivers to be tagged as a major risk to road safety due to the number of road crashes, deaths, and injuries, that might have occurred due to the broken down of unattended haulage trucks on the road.
He added that the Association found it prudent to initiate measures to ensure that such faulty trucks were towed off within the shortest possible time as a way of contributing to road safety.
Mr Musah said due to the narrow nature of Ghana’s roads trucks when faulty had no choice but to remain on the road, this he said was unacceptable and therefore their resolve to reduce the impact.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Kwesi Fori (Rtd.), who is RSMSL National Coordinator said the Company a subsidiary of Jospong Group has the mandate to partner with others such as JAPTU to tow vehicles and to reduce road crashes.
He added that they had studied the route of the trucks and had identified the accident-prone zones; “our heavy equipment trucks have been deployed to the nearest areas to ensure prompt removal of broken-down vehicles around such places.”
He said RSMSL saw the life of drivers and the public as important and therefore would do its best to protect it through its services, adding that a toll free-number, 0800-772-772 was available 24 hours for the drivers to call whenever they experience a breakdown.
Mr. Alexender Ayata, Northern Regional Director, National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) said even though data available to the Authority indicated that there has been some reduction in crashes, it was important that drivers contributed to a further decrease.
Mr Ayata said broken down vehicles contributed 3.8 per cent of deaths and 2.9 per cent of injuries from recorded road crashes adding that between January and August 2022, a total of 1.060 crashes had been recorded compared to the 1,594 within the same period in 2021.
He added 1,650 died, with 1,406 injuries, and 1,942 knockdowns.
Chief Superintendent Kweku Obeng, Director of Research and Planning, Ghana Police Service urged the drivers’ union leaders to ensure that their members complied with the various road traffic laws.
He also reminded them to stick the required reflectors on their vehicles especially the yellow ones on the sides of the trucks to alert other drivers as a way of preventing them from running into the trucks.