Road Traffic Spot Fines Could Cause Backlash Without Co-Ordination – GPRTU

Mr Moses Davor, Volta Regional Chairman of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), on Monday said the uncoordinated approach to implementation of the proposed spot fines for traffic infractions could result in a backlash against the policy.

He said for many commercial drivers, Regulation 157 of LI 2180, specifying legal confines, operational scheme, infractions and fine regimes under the policy were very “strange.”

Mr Davor was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on a range of issues connected to the interest of commercial drivers and road safety.

He said commercial drivers were not against the policy as it could eventually inure to their advantage in saving treasured time litigating over supposed infractions.

“What we are not comfortable with is the way the policy is being rushed without education of the stakeholders especially commercial drivers and the general public,” Mr Davor said.

The policy is expected to begin nationwide between August and December this year on pilot basis within Accra, Tema and Kumasi and intra city routes including, Tema-Akosombo, Tema-Sogakope, Kumasi-Sunyani, Kumasi-Techiman and Kumasi-Ejisu in May this year.

Offending motorists would be issued with Spot Fine Tickets (SFT) to be paid at pay points within 24 hours.

Failure to redeem the fine within specific times would result in it rising to a point where one’s license could be revoked.

Mr Davor said it appeared the provisions of the law that required the appointment of agents to collect the fines only supplanted arrangements of the GPRTU in the past.

He explained that in the past GPRTU’s trained guards collected fines from its members for certain road infractions.

Mr Davor suggested that implementers of the policy should consider roping in agents of the drivers unions to administer the policy as a way of job creation.

“The Motor Transport and Traffic Unit of the Ghana Police Service believes the implementation of the Spot Fines could improve enforcement activities by shortening the process of prosecution, freeing the law courts of minor traffic offenses, ensure increase compliance with road traffic regulations among others,” he said.

On other issues such as speed checks on the highways by police teams and using single speed monitors, Mr Davor said this might pose challenges of accuracy as the radars could be set on more than one approaching vehicle at a time.

He said GPRTU was totally against the continued use of motorbikes as commercial passenger carriers.

Mr Davor said statistics of motorbike-ride related injuries and deaths reported at hospitals in the border areas of the Volta Region presented strong evidence for the immediate enforcement of the statutes outlawing that practice.

He said it was ironical for commercial vehicle owners to pay taxes promptly to government, while the motorbike riders, who did not pay taxes, took over the business of commercial drivers.

He said the GPRTU would continue with its driving skill training for its members and that almost all its drivers benefited from such courses last year.

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