Statistics released by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service has indicated that court fines on motor traffic offences raked in about GH¢3,324,614 within a period of three years (2011 to 2013).
Briefing The Mirror, Chief Superintendent Anderson Fosu-Ackaah, Commander of the Central MTTU, Accra, said GH¢1,008,438 of the fines were paid in 2011, GH¢894,285 in 2012 and GH¢1,421,891 in 2013.
“We are engaged in an exercise to ensure safety on our roads and so we check for enforcement of traffic regulations and conduct inspection of roadworthy certificates, fire extinguishers, and warning triangles which every driver is expected to have,” he said.
Every driver needs to have a licence that also has the classification of vehicle he/she is authorised to drive. In addition, he said drivers ought to ensure that they insure their vehicle else they would fall foul of the law.
Chief Superintendent Fosu-Ackaah said while most of the drivers had a driving licence, there were also quite a sizeable number of them who were driving without licences, contrary to the laws of the land.
According to Chief Superintendent Fosu-Ackaah, drivers who failed to renew their licences and those who drove with expired ones will face the full rigours of the law.
He advised drivers not to pay bribes to police personnel when they were arrested for flouting the law because it was morally wrong to do so.
Chief Superintendent Fosu-Ackaah said drivers caught giving bribes and policemen also found accepting bribes would both be arrested and dealt with according to law.
He said 6,193 cases were processed for court in 2011; 3,818 in 2012 and 5,425 in 2013.
He explained that most of the cases involved speeding, parking at unauthorised places, driving through traffic lights, expired and improper documents, defective lights, unavailability of warning triangles, among others.
According to him, out of the number of cases sent to court in 2011, 4,468 drivers were convicted, another 2,851 were convicted in 2012 while 4,388 suffered conviction in 2013.
The number of drivers who were awaiting trial stood at 800 in 2011, 547 in 2012 and 482 in 2013.
Chief Superintendent Fosu-Ackaah said in 2011, there was a total of 8,295 cases of accidents reported countrywide. However, in 2012 the number reduced to 5,399 but shot up again to 7,401 in 2013.
He said cases which were under investigation in 2011 were 1,204, while 847 and 1,291 were for 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Six hundred and seventy bench warrants were issued for the arrest of drivers in 2011, 292 in 2012, and 368 in 2013.
According to the statistics, seven drivers went to jail in 2011, six in 2012, and 11 in 2013, while 898 were issued with warning letters in 2011, 734 in 2012, and 685 in 2013.
The number of discharged drivers were 250 in 2011, 122 in 2012 and 181 in 2013, he stated.