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DON’T PURSUE ECONOMIC INTEREST WITH TOWING MONOPOLY – ROAD TRANSPORT EXPERT

| Updated Jun 21, 2017 at 11:28am SHARE THIS

A road safety consultant Godfred Akyea Darkwa says the creation of a nationwide monopoly in towing services is not what will help this country. He says there are so many companies already handling towing services in Ghana and any move to give their work to a single entity is bound to throw them out of business.

Mr. Akyea Darkwa stated this on GBC’s FOCUS programme on Wednesday.

The programme looked at the towing levy. He said even though the intent to have a working towing system is good the consultation to activate the process was selective. According to Mr.

Akyea Darkwa, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly for instance has its own towing service, so how are they going to cope with a new system. Whilst suggesting that the District Assemblies should be assisted to acquire their own towing services, he called further for the total implementation of Road Traffic Act 683. An issue in relation to it should not be singled out for implementation.

He believed allowing law and order to work will dispel the notion that an economic interest is what is being pursued. In a contribution, a policy analyst Richster Nii Armah Amarfio also disagreed with the present approach to levy road users. “The issue is not about towing. It’s about solving the fundamental problem.

He queried why vehicles that are not roadworthy should be cleared in the first place to be on the roads and why they bypass police checkpoints without being stopped from moving further, describing some of these vehicles as “death on wheels.” He said experience shows that even heaped chippings on the roads are causing so many fatal crashes. In addition Mr.

Amarfio asked for street lights to illuminate the roads and make driving easier. He believed that the insurance companies should have a towing service as part of the package it offers to its clients. Putting the issue in perspective however, the Head of Education, Research and Training of the Motor Transport and Traffic Department of the Ghana Police Service DSP Alexander Kwaku Obeng said so many crashes have been recorded leading to preventable deaths due to broken-down vehicles on the roads.

He said there are occasions where policemen sleep on the sites of disabled vehicles in order to prevent crashes. Mr. Kwaku Obeng said the police lack the capacity to effectively clear the roads, yet action is needed immediately to save lives.

This is why it has become important to resort to this action. He agreed that further consultations might be needed but that does not negate the fact that some consultations took place earlier with some interested parties and organisations. The road levy was expected to be included in the roadworthy renewal fees of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority from the 1st of July this year but has since been suspended because of numerous protests against its implementation.

The most recent organization to have issued a release against the proposal is the Ghana National Cargo Transport Association, saying that the charges are too high. In a statement signed by the National President Alhaji Muhammed Tanko and deputy General secretary Alhassan Ibrahim, they said it is prudent that after eight years when they last had consultations on it, “…it is reasonable that before any implementation of the towing we should be re-engaged.” The statement added that it is strange that they only heard an announcement that the implementation was being started on 1st July. The first Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Bekwai Joseph Osei-Owusu is on record to have stated that the protest against the implementation of the towing levy is “parochial”.

Ghana is among the worst destinations in terms of road crashes. Out of the 43 worse ranked countries by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the country is placed 38th. Story: K.

Obeng-Kyereh
GBCONLINE

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