General News of Friday, 8 September 2017
Owners of broken down vehicles will continue to pay for the cost of towing their vehicles, as the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo has made it clear the government will not implement the mandatory towing levy.
According to him, there will be no attempt to reinvent the wheel as towing services will be provided to those who need it by recognized and registered towing companies.
This followed the public outcry which compelled the government to scrap the proposed mandatory towing policy and accompanying levy.
“Today we will end up asking you to go and register the services you provide. Naturally, people will have some questions and we want to listen to your concerns if any because this policy which was supposed to start on July 1 has been stopped,” Mr. Osafo Maafo said
“There is the need to provide that service so we are asking those who have the capacity to provide the service to register through the appropriate ministry and provide the service to those who need it and those who receive the services to pay for it.”
The police service has indicated that it will be on the lookout for broken vehicles and the Senior Minister, assured that government will support it in this regard.
“We will ask the police to continue and if they need additional support in the interim, we are going to put in some support for them to get beefed up in terms of material so that they minimise the carnage arising out of disabled vehicles,” he said.
Statistics from the Road Safety Commission revealed that broken down vehicles accounted for a huge number of accidents on Ghanaian roads. Following this revelation, the government of Ghana approved a nationwide towing program in 2012, but it was to take effect on July 2017.
Commercial vehicles and taxes were to pay GH¢40, mini buses were to pay GH¢80, while heavy duty trucks were to pay between GH¢80 and GH¢200 annually, depending on their tonnage, and have the Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL) tow their vehicles anytime it breaks down on the road. Non-commercial vehicles were expected to pay GH¢20.
But most Ghanaians kicked against the levy claiming it was a total rip-off, and that individuals must be made to pay for broken down vehicles to be towed, rather than a mandatory levy across board. Others also questioned why the contract was given to one company for the next 20 years.
Following the massive public uproar, the Akufo-Addo government halted the implementation of the policy.
A statement signed by the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, explained that government took the decision after “extensive consultations between the Minister of Transport and stakeholders in the transport sector.”
It, however, served notice there was going to be further consultations on the best way to deal with the challenge of broken down vehicles going forward.