Burkina Faso truck drivers protest Bolga axle load charges
Confusion broke out at the Bolgatanga axle load bridge at the weekend when 15 articulated truck drivers traveling to Accra and Tema with various goods onboard their vehicles were detained for exceeding the recommended weight.
The vehicles, mostly traveling from Burkina Faso with axle description of three and six, all exceeded the required weight of 50.5 and 68 tonnes of the various capacities.
Some of the drivers who carried shea nuts and cashew nuts were charged between GH¢300.00 and GH¢900.00 in penalties for the extra weight they carried.
It was at this point that the drivers entered into heated arguments with operators of the axle load bridge, arguing that they were not satisfied with the readings provided and so suspected foul play.
Mr Sly Gibril, Upper East Regional Officer in charge of Operations at the axle Load Bridge who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) said drivers from Burkina Faso consistently overloaded their vehicles thereby exceeding the recommended weight, in spite of warnings officials at the bridge gave them.
He observed that the Axle Load Bridge in Burkina Faso weighed about three tons less than that of Ghana, and so when the weight of the load they carried was taken in Ghana it tended to be higher.
He said this was due to incorrect readings in that Country’s machines, adding that the Bolgatanga axle machine had been calibrated about four days earlier and could not have been reading false figures other than what was provided.
Mr Gibril noted that defaulting drivers had no problems paying GH¢180.00 in fines on one extra ton in Burkina Faso but that they proved difficult when they were fined same in Ghana.
He said the bills prepared for the drivers were payable to the Ghana High Way Authority and not into a private person’s pocket, adding that overload vehicles did not only cause accidents on the country’s roads, but also reduced the lifespan of the country’s roads.
Mr Osman Togola, an escort and spokes person for the drivers said they were not happy with the treatment meted out to them at the bridge.
He said the vehicles weighed less according to receipts provided to them from Burkina Faso and so did not understand why Bolgatanga operators recorded different weights. He therefore called on authorities to look into the issue again.