The Deputy Director-General of the Motto Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Dr. Sasu Mensah has attributed the main cause of road crashes to human errors and wants stiffer punishment for errant drivers.
According to him, six people die daily from road crashes, which are caused by careless driving.
Mr. Mensah said this when Crime Check Foundation paid a courtesy call on the Director-General of MTTD on Thursday, January 20, 2022, for a collaboration between the two organizations to sensitize drivers on road safety.
The visit, which forms part of the Decriminalizing Vagrancy Laws and Advocacy (DVLA) project, is also to urge the MTTD to find suitable punishment for errant commercial drivers that would not affect their business.
Superintendent Mensah indicated that the MTTD has carried out the necessary education in line with its mandate to stem road crashes but it seems drivers do not heed their guidance.
He said to serve as a deterrent to errant drivers, those who are found culpable should be given higher sentences.
“Already, we have been carrying out education on road safety but the drivers do not observe the rules. We tell them not to drink and drive but they drink and drive. Sometimes when we go to lorry stations to educate them, they do not give us their ears and they even leave our presence to attend to other things. What we want now is higher sentences for drivers who breach road traffic regulations,” Superintendent Mensah said.
Sharing some challenges some commercial drivers face with the Deputy MTTD Chief, upon CCF engagements with them, the Project Coordinator for the Foundation, Cosmos Akorli appealed to the Department to mete out punishments that would not frustrate the driving business, as it is the only source of sustenance for many breadwinners.
“I agree with you on the fact that most drivers drive carelessly but can we find a way to punish them that would not affect their business? We can consider non-Custodial Sentences for these stubborn drivers,” Mr. Akorli suggested.
But Superintendent Mensah was not convinced about the suggestion. He rather posited for stiffer punishments.
Established in 2000, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is a grant-making and advocacy organization focused on equality, justice, democratic governance, human rights, and knowledge generation. It is part of the global network of Open Society Foundations spread across 37 countries around the world.
By Rudolph Nandi