Regional News of Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
Motorists who were convicted of committing various road traffic offences in 2012 were fined a total of GH¢894,285.
In all, 5,399 traffic offences were reported at the various Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) offices in 2012. Out of the number, 3,818 motorists who committed serious road traffic offences were prosecuted and convicted but the remaining 1,581 motorists were cautioned and discharged because their offences were minor.
In 2011, 6,193 motorists who were convicted for committing various road traffic offences paid fines totalling GH¢1,008,438.
The National MTTU Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Angwutubuge Awuni, who briefed Daily Graphic about the court fines, said between 2010 and 2012, GH¢2,533,944 was realised as court fines paid by 15,080 motorists who flouted various road traffic regulations.
He said during the period between 2010 and 2012, 20,435 motor traffic offences were reported in the country out of which 15,080 motorists were prosecuted and convicted.
Over the years, human errors such as speeding on the highways and residential areas, overtaking of vehicles at wrong places, stopping and picking passengers at unauthorised areas, among others, have been linked to road traffic accidents, leading to the loss of lives and property.
Between 2010 and 2012, for example, as many as 6,339 people died in Ghana through road traffic accidents, while 38,500 others sustained various injuries. In 2010 , 1,760 people died as a result of road traffic accidents, with 11,147 others sustaining various injuries. In 2011, 2,330 persons died, while 13,272 others sustained injuries from road traffic accidents.
In 2012, 2,249 people also died from road traffic accidents, with 14,181 sustaining injuries. Mr Awuni said motorists from the Accra Metropolis and Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Western and Central regions had been the regular road traffic offenders. Mr Awuni said between 2010 and 2012 , as many as 6,259 road traffic cases were reported in the Accra Metropolis alone, out of which 4,740 offenders were convicted to pay fines totalling GH¢823,087.
He explained that while 771 motorists were fined GH¢147,882 in 2010, the number of motorists found guilty of road traffic offences in the area in 2011 increased to 1,328, causing the courts to convict them to pay fines amounting to GH¢381,610.00.
He also said last year, 2,851 motorists from the Accra Metropolis were found guilty of flouting road traffic regulations, and were convicted and fined a total of GH¢293,595.
According to ACP Awuni, the Ashanti Region came next to the Accra Metropolis in respect of road traffic offences and explained that between 2010 and 2012 ,1,146 motorists were fined GH¢285,413.
He explained that in 2010, 541 motorists were fined a total of GH¢124,670 in the Ashanti Region for flouting various road traffic offences, but the number decreased to 390 in 2011 with the court fines also decreasing to GH¢93,915.
He added that the number of motorists who flouted road traffic regulations in Ashanti, leading to their arrest and prosecution further decreased to 215 in 2012 with the court fines also decreasing to GH¢66,825.00.
Mr Awuni said considering the statistics of road traffic offences recorded between 2010 and 2012, motorists were gradually acknowledging the need to be circumspect on the road.
He gave the assurance that the MTTU would not only continue to make their presence felt on the road, but would also ensure that all motorists who flouted road traffic regulations were prosecuted.
“In spite of the challenges confronting the MTTU, we will not relent in our efforts to enforce road traffic regulations across the country. It is, therefore, important for motorists to strictly abide by road traffic regulations to avoid the unpleasant situation of we dragging those who flout the law to court,” he said.
He charged motorists to undertake regular maintenance of their vehicles to reduce breakdowns on the highways, since vehicles that broke down on the highways would be towed to safer places at a cost.
He warned against speeding on the highways and residential areas, since speeding and wrongful overtaking of vehicles had been the major causes of accidents, and added that the MTTU would not spare motorists who drove beyond the required speed limit on the highways and in residential areas.