AMA Vows To Flush Out Floating Drivers

AMADespite the resistance from floating taxi drivers, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), has said it would not compromise on its decision to flush them out.

The Metropolitan Chief Executive for Accra Mr Oko Vanderpuije, who said this in Accra yesterday, cited a Legislative Instrument (L.I.) passed by Parliament in 2012, as the legal basis for the intended action of AMA.

He said under the L. I, drivers, including taxi drivers, were obliged to operate a commercial vehicle only when they possess road transport operator’s licence.

Mr Vanderpuije stated that the same law did not permit drivers to operate a commercial vehicle unless they are employed by or belong to a recognised commercial road transport organisation.

“However, there are some drivers in the country particularly in Accra, who have decided never to comply with this directive and are establishing their own taxi ranks and stations, thereby compounding the vehicular traffic and criminality in the country,” he remarked.

The caution follows a demonstration by the taxi drivers, on Tuesday in Accra, in which scores of them blocked part of the Accra-Nsawam road to protest against what they described as persistent harassment by members of the Traffic Security Task Force of the AMA.

The drivers complained that the directive from the AMA to all taxi drivers in the metropolis to register with particular lorry stations or join a transport union was not feasible as it would negatively affect their work and daily sales.

Some of them cited cases of harassment and extortion by the AMA taskforce, and vowed to continue with the protest till the Assembly rescinded its decision to arrest them for not operating from particular stations.

However, Mr. Vanderpuije emphasised on the new law and entreated the drivers to comply with the order to enhance the move by the AMA to carry out its road map of improving transportation in the city.

He stated that the initiative was part of activities leading to the implementation of the first phase of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the Amasaman to central business district corridor by July 1, 2014 and the subsequent extension to three corridors.

Mr Vanderpuije said all that the law required was for drivers to register their vehicle with the assembly to which they belong through a transport union. – Charles Amankwa

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