With effect from October 1, this year, commercial drivers operating under the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) throughout the country will undergo compulsory alcohol tests before they can move passengers from their stations to their respective destinations.

In addition, the union will also supply reflectors to its members to be used on their vehicles. Those who failed to comply with these would not be allowed to drive any vehicle both day and night.

This was part of measures aimed at checking drunk-driving and minimising accidents on our roads.

The National Chairman of the GPRTU, Alhaji Yaw Manue, announced this at the 7th Regional Delegates Conference of the Union here on Wednesday.

He said already a company had been contracted to supply the equipment for the exercise, which will be carried anytime a vehicle is ready to move out of the station.

Alhaji Manue said the Alco-meter would be supplied to all the GPRTU branches and drivers would be made to undergo the test before they are permitted to drive vehicles carrying passengers.

He said the new directives are to be strictly enforced by the station executives with support from trained GPRTU guards, adding that “Any driver who is caught to have consumed alcohol will be asked to off load the passengers on his vehicle to another one.

He explained that the decision has become necessary because as major stakeholders in the transport sector they must work to ensure that the carnage on the roads is stopped.

“We know the government has a role to play in this, but we will do our best to ensure that no one continues to blame us for the accidents on our roads,” he added.

Alhaji Manue said the Union settled on that measure because all indications point to the fact that those educational campaigns to dissuade drivers from drunk-driving had failed.

He said drivers who deliberately refuse to take the alcohol test would be sanctioned in the first instance and dismissed from the union.

He said to ensure that members complied with all the directives the union will procure the reflectors and supply them to one driver.

Alhaji Manue called on members of the union to help address the menace of armed robbery attacks on the roads, adding that these robbers do not live in the bush, as people would want us to believe, they live with us in the community and we must report them to the police and other security agencies.

He said it was also important for all long distance drivers to comply with the directive for all users to have police escorts on their buses for their safety and that of their passengers.

He advised passengers on board vehicles whose drivers deliberately refuse police escorts to alight and join those with security on board for their own safety.

At the end of the conference, all the Upper West regional executives were retained unopposed.

Alhaji Mamidu Iddrisu is chairman and Kuoro Abdulai Bukari as his vice.

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