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General News of Friday, 16 April 2021

Source: 3 News

Road accidents: Gov’t to reintroduce compulsory towing levy contract

The National Road Safety Authority is currently having discussions with the Ministry of Transport and other key stakeholders in the transport sector on plans to reintroduce the compulsory towing levy contract.

Director for Planning and Programming at the National Road Safety Authority, Mr David Adonteng, said the reintroduction has become necessary following the increasing rate of road accidents in the country.

Mr. Adonteng explained in an interview with Dzifa Bampoh on the First Take programme on 3FM Thursday April 15 that, most of the road accidents are caused by broken down vehicles on the highways hence, the need to clear them in order to prevent the crashes.

The Roads and Transport Committee of the 7th Parliament approved the controversial compulsory towing levy contract with Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL) levy which was to begin September 1, 2017.

However, the initiative was vehemently rejected by Ghanaians. Critics including some transport companies described it as a “lackadaisical attitude towards solving problems in this country.”

Accordingly, the contract was withdrawn.

Following the recent accidents in parts of the country, Mr Adonteng said the time has come for the contract to be reintroduced but in a refined form in order to deal with the problem.

“The whole Ghana is discussing this because this could have been prevented especially the one in Accra. If you look at the causative factor, a disabled vehicle standing right in the middle of the road near the Tesano Police Station and another vehicle running into it killing two persons. I think it is a big issue.

“I can say with authority that generally, if you look at our total crashes a minimum of about 11 per cent constitute crashes that relate to disabled vehicles. These figures were put out a couple of years ago before we initiated that innovative project called the towing service long ago.

“Unfortunately, the project that we called Towing Service, because of the levying system that we were introducing it created a big issue in Ghana and we were unable to use the Commission, at the time, to get the project running.

"As Ghanaians refused to accept the project we thought they were going to bring an alternative to solve the problem [but] nobody brought that alternative and so the problem is still there, it has not been solved.

“So whether we like it or not the problem that regards the incident of people or motorists driving into disabled vehicles is still there and we need to solve it.”

He added “I think that perhaps maybe Ghanaians got us wrong. The project was a well-thought project. You know that in Ghana when you are introducing a new thing and it has to do with payment of money, even if it is One Cedi, you will need to justify as much as possible. Perhaps it was as a result of miscommunication.

“Now, we have found out that the problem is still there. We have not abandoned [the towing system], we have listened to Ghanaians and all the issues they raised are being considered.

“I can tell you that ourselves and the Ministry of Transport and the Police, the DVLA, we are still discussing, we are very far advanced in terms the next stage that we want to move to.

"The bottom line is that it will come back but it will come back in a form that we believe people will be well communicated to, they will understand it and buy into it so that we can take the problem off.”

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