The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has disclosed that it has received reports that some of its drivers consume alcohol and cocaine-laden toffee to stay awake and alert while travelling on long-distance journeys.
General Secretary for the GPRTU, Godfred Abulbire revealed this during an interview with Evans Mensah on Newsnight, on Monday.
This revelation comes on the back of the National Security’s description of road carnages as a potential source of civil unrest and identifying the GPRTU as a major culprit for road carnages.
He noted that although the Union has received such reports, it is yet to apprehend any driver who is culpable.
“Like you were talking about drunk driving or whatever, persons at the point departure may not drink. Halfway, they stop and enter some spots and take some drink. I can say that some members within the North in the Upper East coming to Tamale and Kumasi were banned.
But the situation now is becoming more than we expected…not even alcohol alone, I remember somebody called me and said, have I heard of this toffee that is made of cocaine or whatever, and I said I have never seen, but some way, I have heard about it,” he said.
Mr. Abulbire urged passengers to report drivers who may be found guilty of such acts.
He said the GPRTU would position itself to get evidence against drivers who are involved to ensure appropriate action is taken against them.
“It is not easy to get them until it happens. That’s why I said that we need to empower the passengers onboard every car. The passenger should be bold enough to report such situations when they see it.
“We haven’t gotten one, any driver or group who are involved and the evidence provided, we can take drastic measures against such a driver,” he stated.
Mr. Abulbire stressed that the Union will henceforth not take such reports lightly.
Meanwhile, the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) has said it will hold the Union accountable for any misbehavior from members of the GPRTU.
“They are required to ensure that their drivers are well-trained. They must put in place systems electronically or otherwise to check these things. If they don’t, the law mandates us to notify them in the first place for a period for them to comply or we can go to the extent of halting their operations until they comply with the rules and regulations,” Acting Director of the NRSA, David Adonteng told Evans Mensah on Newsnight.
However, Godfred Abulbire disagrees with the NRSA’s threat to hold the Union accountable instead of the individual drivers.
“When you say human error, it means the person who was on the steering wheel did not comply with road safety measures and as a result caused the accident. Now, if you leave that person and come to hold the Union liable for his errors, which we have described as human factor…in this case, holding the union itself or closing down the station, how far will that change the behavior of persons driving,” he asked.