Mr Amegashie said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr John Amamoo, a facilitator of the Transport Services Consult, at a seminar on “Road Safety, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting on the Road and Customer Care” on Wednesday.
It was organised by the Upper East Regional branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) for drivers in the region.
Mr Amegashie , who is also the former Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), said although there were other factors contributing to road accidents such as over speeding, overloading, drunkenness and poor vehicular maintenance, research had revealed that poor vision of drivers accounted for most of the casualties and fatalities on the roads.
Mr Amegashie cautioned drivers never to give their licenses to people to renew on their behalf but must do that themselves at the DVLA so as to get their eyesight tested and the necessary measures taken to safeguard their lives and that of their passengers.
“You must see and must be seen to avoid head-on collision, 90 per cent of the decision one takes is based on what one sees. You must go for voluntary eye testing to help you improve upon your power of observation,” he said.
He warned drivers who used the same license specimen to drive to desist from the practice since it also accounted for many accidents on the roads adding; “it is wrong for you to use a motor cycle license to drive a vehicle”.
Mr Godfred Abulbire, the Regional Chairman of the GPRTU, expressed gratitude to the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and the Transport Services Consult for the education.
“Road casualties and fatalities have reduced drastically in the region. Defensive and vehicle maintenance culture of the drivers and customer care have all improved. Hitherto it was not so. We are very grateful to COTVET and the Transport Services Consult,” he said.
He said the union, as a result of the frequent training, had banned all vehicles that were not roadworthy and put in place measures to get new vehicles so as to help curb accidents.
He gave the assurance that the union would sustain the programme by ensuring that some key members who benefited from the training became trainers of trainees.
Ms Fati Issahaku, the COTVET Skills Development Fund Monitor, in charge of the three northern regions, said the decision to sponsor the training was based on a research conducted by the National Road Safety Commission indicating that 75 per cent of accidents were caused by commercial drivers.
This was due to road safety negligence, lack of adequate training and bad driving ethics.
Ms Issahaku entreated the drivers to put the knowledge acquired to good use and expressed the optimism that the intervention would help reduce the spate of road accidents in the country.
The training programme, which began last year, is sponsored by the Government with support from DANIDA, and is targeting 40,000 drivers nationwide with 1402 drivers from the Upper East Region.
Participants were drawn from Bolgatanga, Kassena- Nankana West and East, Bawku Municipal and its environs, Bawku West and Builsa North and South.
They were taken through topics such as Defensive Driving, Identification and Interpretation of Road Signs and Roadway Markings, Drivers’ License and Laws, and Punishment for Acquisition of Fake Licenses.