The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) has held a day’s sensitization workshop in Kumasi for stakeholders in the haulage industry on the enforcement of the axle load control.
The training was to bring stakeholders together to find a common ground to protect the country’s road infrastructure.
The axle load control programme seeks to ensure that all loaded trucks plying the roads in Ghana are within the prescribed permissible axle load, gross weight and dimension limits under the road traffic regulations.
It is being implemented alongside regulation 14 of the West African Economic Monetary Union (UEMOA) which also aims at harmonizing standards and procedures for control of dimensions, weight and axle load of goods vehicles within ECOWAS member states.
The workshop, therefore, sought to sensitize stakeholders on the programme which implementation was to begin on July 1, this year but was stalled because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Representatives from the GHA, Ministry of Roads and Highways, Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate of the Ghana Police and the Haulage and Transport Association attended the seminar.
Mr Samuel Antobam, the Coordinator of the Axle Load Programme, said overloaded vehicles caused excessive damage to the road pavement, drainage structures and impede the safety of traffic in general.
He said the implementation of the programme would reduce safety hazards imposed by overloaded trucks as well as road traffic crashes and further improve freight transport efficiency.
Travel time on our roads, according to him, would significantly improve since congestion on the road due to slow-moving overloaded trucks would be eliminated.
He said the enforcement of the programme would protect the huge investments made by the government in road infrastructure and also save the country the high cost of maintaining the roads.
“The cooperation of all road users in complying with permissible axle load limits is vital if the condition of our roads is to be kept consistently good and safe” he stated.
Mr Abdullah Billey, Director of Road Safety and Environment Division of GHA, entreated truck owners to check the actual weight of their trucks to be able to determine the permissible load they could carry.
He said the GHA would strictly apply sanctions to offending drivers to protect the roads from deteriorating as a result of their refusal to comply with the permissible weight.
He noted that it was important for drivers and truck owners to cooperate with GHA in the enforcement of the axle load control programme, adding that offenders would be made to pay penalties and also offload the excess load.
Mr Billey also disclosed that plans were underway to train and deploy some workers of the GHA and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority to check overloading at the point of loading.