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General News of Thursday, 16 November 2000

Source: Graphic

11,000 Old Drivers Licences Replaced

THE Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has so far withdrawn and replaced 11,000 old drivers’ licences with the new Ghanaian licence.

As part of the exercise to introduce the new computer-mediated licence, intended to bring the country in line with international standards, the DVLA has retrieved 45 fake driver licences.

Speaking in an interview in Accra, Mr J. Y. M. Amegashie, Chief Executive of DVLA, said 20 drivers who had been driving relatively for 20 years, have also been retested to establish their level of competence on the road.

The new machine-readable licences which carry security features, dimensional bar-codes, digital imaging, driver classification and social security number, was launched on August 21, this year.

Under the new system, DVLA has linked up with various post offices, and other offices such as the Accountant General’s Department, where forms could be purchased and with the assistance of the staff of the authority, the old licences are examined to determine whether they are genuine or not.

Mr Amegashie announced that four persons have been disqualified from holding drivers licence since they showed visible signs of visual defects, adding that they are to be examined by an eye specialist at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.

“This is a plus for the exercise since those people would have been plying the roads although they are visually-impaired,” he added.

He said DVLA is also prepared to assist older drivers who, hitherto, were using high categories of licences but are now driving private cars to change over to the new private licence under the new system.

Mr Amegashie said in September, this year (first month of the exercise), 450 old licences were withdrawn and replaced

However, following the intense publicity and educational campaign, 6,000 more were withdrawn and replaced in October, he added.

Mr Amegashie announced that to enable the DVLA to effectively implement the new system, a new initiative to help institutions and organisations change over en bloc has been evolved.

He explained that in line with the new scheme, DVLA officials have been visiting institutions, companies and organisations to help them change over en bloc.

He explained that the danger with the old system was that holders of such licences could risk driving a vehicle for which they had no competence and experience.

Mr Amegashie said under the computerised system it is very easy to build up a driver’s history of traffic violation, making it possible to take unsafe drivers off the road.

He said the new system also eliminates photo substitutions and enhances law enforcement.