BY PRINCE ESSIEN
EXCURSION GHANA has launched a campaign to educate commercial drivers on road traffic regulations.
Mr Godfred Gogo Tawiah, the Coordinator of Excursion Ghana, said the launch marked the beginning of the end to the years of inattention of the commercial driver.
He said it marked a turn of events for the good, the better and the best for the commercial driver.
He added that the launch of ‘AWAY’ reality show gives expression to the saying “there comes a day when the charcoal seller wears a white dress to sell charcoal”.
“The show is the culmination of over a year of careful planning on how to promote the business of tourism within the country and the beginning of a tactical application of what we found out could be just one of the many ways the business of tourism could be promoted and appreciated by Ghanaians,” he said.
The coordinator also said patronage of domestic tourism has been hampered by low interest and appreciation of the relevance and role of tourism, whereas the transport sector, a significant player in the tourism value chain, remains challenged by the menace of road traffic accidents and bad sanitation practices at the various transport terminals.
He further added that the main challenges outlined to be addressed in the show were meant to create awareness of the role of commercial drivers in promoting tourism.
He added that the show was to educate drivers on road traffic regulations and insurance policies; promote commercial driving as a respectable and viable profession; address sanitation and waste management issues at the transport terminals; and finally to address pension and welfare challenges of drivers.
The maiden edition of the show will feature 40 selected participants (drivers and driver’s assistant participating). Some participants would be evicted in each selected week as a means to further shortlist the numbers towards the final week of the completion. Three weeks out of the 13 would be eviction free.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, speaking at the launch of the show, said “Government regards the tourism sector as one of the major economic pillars for growth and job creation and has demonstrated its commitment by placing tourism high on its governance structure and increasing resources to the sector.
“Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture is committed to associating and partnering with the private sector in creating and maintaining a positive image of Ghana as well as providing an enjoyable and meaningful experience in Ghana for all our tourists,” she said.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), Mr Prince Opoku Adusei, addressing the participants in the launch, said drivers should use the correct procedure to acquire their driving licence.
According to him, DVLA will soon introduce sticker at various points to replace DP number plates and will be linked to a data base until registration of the car. He says it will help to track all unregistered vehicles used for crime.
“I urge all participants in the AWAY reality show to take opportunity to improve themselves, imbibe all aspects of the training to be provided, all aimed to win the ultimate prize,” he said.
Superintendent Obeng from the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) also drew the attention of drivers to the fact that accidents were very rampant in the month of December.
According to Supt Obeng, the rate at which commercial vehicles lose lives through road accident is very high as compared to privately used ones.
He urges all drivers to conduct regular maintenance and servicing at least every six months and owners of commercial vehicles to consider the welfare of the drivers.
The Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) of Achimota, Roland Aryee, also urged all stakeholders to come together with Excursion Ghana to embark on the road safety campaign.