General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
The Center for Policy Research (CPR), has advised the government to seek broader public input and wider stakeholder consultation in its attempt to find solutions to the challenges posed by broken down vehicles on the country’s roads, and cautioned against policy options that indirectly penalise good behaviour and reward recklessness.
A press statement signed by its Director of Research, Samuel Seglah said while government’s attention to the issue is commendable, the specific policy proposal of imposing towing levy on all vehicles in the country through the DVLA, and then contract a single company to undertake towing in the entire country undermines the principles of competition and freedom of choice.
The statement noted that the search for solution to the problems posed by broken down vehicles on the roads and highways must not be limited to a single idea or option that focuses on easy access to funds from vehicle owners, but also include an opportunity for Ghanaians to choose among different service providers including state agencies in the industry.
Competition is the surest way to ensure competence and efficient service delivery.
According to the statement, rather than ask vehicle owners to make towing payments to the DVLA, the existing vehicular insurance legislations could be reviewed to make towing of broken down vehicles a mandatory part of motor insurance cover.
This approach will potentially allow the emergence and growth of vehicle towing companies across the country to enable insurance companies to give effect to that aspect of their responsibility.
Mr. Samuel Seglah also noted that the proposal in its present form appears to be interested in mobilisation of funds from the Ghanaian public and handing it over to a private business entity without any firm assurances of efficient and effective service delivery; and further expressed worry about what appears to be a form of collusion between elected officials and private interest against the citizenry.
In the view of CPR, rather than outsourcing the “important issue of public safety on our roads to private companies, the state must step forward to its responsibility of providing adequate resources to agencies like the National Roads Safety Commission (NRSC) and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to enable them work as frontline actors in the maintenance of order and civility on our roads.”