Drivers’ strike: boy, 9, treks from Ashiaman to Tema to go to school

A 9-year-old boy, Yaw, had to walk from Ashiaman to Tema for the first time to attend school after commercial drivers refused to work in protest over new traffic regulations.

Yaw was spotted making the journey by foot, demonstrating a great determination and defying the rather considerable challenge of lack of transportation.

Determined Yaw walks to school
Joy News Kwetey Nartey spoke to Yaw who answered his questions like an objective test. His answers were either a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

His school in Community One is at least one hour away and Yaw says he is not scared of doing the trip unaided.

The distance from Ashiaman to Tema is at least 5 kilometers.

Drivers in Accra, Kasoa, Tema and Ashiaman have been passionately making their case that new transport and driving regulations are unrealistic and exploitative.

The drivers are refusing to comply with a new directive to fix seat belts in buses. They are also refusing to attend Driving Schools as a pre-requisite for license upgrade.

A leader of the group, Charles Danso told Joy News the booklet containing the regulations was expensive; it is sold at 60 cedis. He added that the cost of putting seat belts in commercial buses is too high as are the fees for driving lessons at private Driving Schools.

The drivers blocked their colleagues who grew sympathetic to the sight of stranded passengers and long queues. The Ashiaman drivers also blocked buses operated by the government owned Metro Mass Transit Company.

Ashiaman police made it clear to the furious drivers that the attempt to block the road or prevent other buses from working was illegal. But they have refrained from using force because Ashiaman is notorious for violence.

A show of force could spark a regrettable response, Joy News Kemini Amanor reported.

Meanwhile the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) says it will be meeting with leaders of the various transport unions to “resolve the impasse”.

DVLA boss Rudolf Berkley has told JOYNEWS he is “hopeful” that the 3pm Monday meeting will end the strike.

Rudolf condemned the action of the drivers saying they have not shown a desire for dialogue by sending a petition to the Authority on the matter.

“We have never received any petition from the drivers”, he insisted.

He said his checks with recognized transport unions shows that GPRTU, PROTOA are not aware of the strike.

Meanwhile transport operators in Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital say they are not on strike because the action was “not well planned” and communicated.

Nonetheless “we are with you in spirit” Luv Fm’s Erastus Asare Donkor reported the drivers as saying.

Story by Ghana|myjoyonline.com|posted by EA


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