The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service is set to enforce the spot fine regulation by December 2015, following approval of 38 road offences by parliament and acquisition of logistics.
The regulation 157 of Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180 when finally implemented, traffic violators of minor offences will receive instant punishment ranging from five to 50 penalty units or GH¢60 to GH¢600.
The system will enable the police officers of the traffic wing to levy on-the-spot fine for offenders with quantum of fine amount increasing after first offence.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Alexander Kweku Obeng, Director in-charge of Education, Research and Training at the MTTD, said this on Saturday at a public education session on the new traffic regulation.
The session, which was at the instance of the Adventists Men’s Organisation of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Adenta, a suburb of Accra, attracted transport union members, drivers, vehicle owners, hawkers as well as church members.
It was under the theme, “The role and responsibilities of Adenta road users with respect to enforcement of the new road traffic regulation and driving defensively under the spot fine regulation in Ghana as grounded in the road law.’
DSP Obeng decried the horrific carnage on the roads, attributing it to indiscipline, over-speeding, disrespect for traffic rules and zebra crossings as well as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
He also blamed thousands of road accident deaths and extensive damage to property valuing millions of cedis, on driving or riding or crossing roads while using mobile phone and refusal of drivers to wear seat belts among others.
He justified the implementation of the spot fine saying, it would seek to reduce road accidents and traffic rule violations, minimize perceived corruption in the police service, raise tax revenue for the country and check widespread indiscipline perpetrated by road users.
DSP Obeng said the police had received adequate training and acquired high tech gadgets for the effective implementation of the system, which he said had been successful in Gambia, Malawi, Spain, France and South Africa, among other places.
But experts say a number of factors contribute to the risk of collision, including vehicle design, speed of operation, road design, road environment, driver skill and/or impairment and driver behaviour.
Mr Godfred Mawutor, Church Elder of SDA, described road safety issues as serious ones and emerging road accident figures as very frightening which ought to be checked immediately.
He said 1.2 million people died in 2006 across the globe, many of who aged between 15 and 29 with the cost of damage being estimated at $580 million in 2011.
He said in Ghana about 4,441 people died in 2014 with many more sustaining various degrees of injury, adding that ‘If nothing is done the death toll can rise.’
According to the World Health Organization, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.24 million deaths worldwide in the year 2010, slightly down from 1.26 million in 2000.
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