The Management of VIP Jeoun Transport Limited has stated that it will introduce new measures to enhance the safety of passengers on its buses.
It said although the company already had some safety measures in place, it would adopt new ones to improve their operations.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr Ernest Frimpong Manso, made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic yesterday, and mentioned some of the new measures as the setting up of a VIP Driving School in collaboration with the National Drivers Academy and the installation of cameras in buses to check the behaviour of drivers on the road.
“We are going to go technological by getting the contact numbers of all passengers on board, and that of their emergency contacts to call in case of any casualties. We are also working on having trackers in all the buses, even though some of them have trackers already, so that at the central command drivers’ behaviour can be monitored,” Mr Manso, popularly known as Adakabre, said.
Nineteen persons died on the spot in the early hours of last Friday when two buses travelling in opposite directions on the Accra-Kumasi Highway collided head-on.
The accident involved two Kia Grandbird buses with registration numbers GT 5629-19 and GE 5510-15, one of which was a VIP bus.
Mr Manso said the major concern for VIP was that people were abusing its brand, adding that the bus that collided with its bus in the accident was not a VIP bus “but because it is sprayed in our colour, automatically the news went out that two VIP buses have collided”.
He said the other bus involved in the accident was traveling from Aflao to Kumasi, and no one had come out to claim ownership.
The existence of VIP for the past 11 years, he said, had sunk into the minds of Ghanaians such that every red bus was now seen as a VIP bus.
“We are going to undertake an exercise to make sure every bus branded in VIP and in our colour is registered in the data of VIP because VIP is a registered brand and our colour, which is cherry red, is also registered, and so any bus found branded VIP and in our colour but not captured in the VIP data will be dealt with,” he said.
Mr Manso said the company was going to lobby for colour coding to make sure every bus registered under a different transport unit would have its own colour.
In terms of the manifest, he said it was now being done on pilot basis manually where phone numbers of passengers were taken.
Mr Manso said every bus that travelled beyond Kumasi had plain clothed armed security personnel among passengers to protect them against possible robbery attacks.
“We have also equipped some of our buses with in-camera and speed limiters to monitor the buses and the speed of drivers at every point.
“Also, our drivers undergo retraining to upgrade their knowledge so every VIP driver is well trained and has enough experience in driving. In the next six months, VIP will be able to have the safety of its passengers upgraded to 100 per cent with highly experienced drivers while shutting down the illegal operators of VIP buses because when drivers are disciplined, passengers safety is also guaranteed,” he stated.
Mr Manso said VIP was also looking at deploying more inspectors on the roads to monitor its operations.
“VIP is a law-abiding company, and we travel to 46 destinations. We are working to use all available technology and strategy to upgrade the safety and security of our buses, passengers and drivers.
“The public must rest assured that all VIP drivers are well experienced and trained before employed, so our buses are still safe,” he added.