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Regional News of Monday, 4 October 2004

Source: GNA

Old licence replacement exercise in UER ends

Zuarungu (UER), Oct. 4, GNA - A vast majority of vehicle drivers, both commercial and private, in the Upper East Region do not renew their driving licences as regularly as stipulated by law, Mr. Noah Tetteh Matey, Regional Director of the Driver and Vehicle licensing Authority (DVLA) said on Monday.

In the case of commercial vehicle drivers, who are the most guilty of the offence, some have not renewed their licences for as long as five years but have continued to ply the roads.

Mr. Matey was speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the DVLA office in Zuarungu near Bolgatanga, on the outcome of the just-ended replacement exercise of old driving licences with new ones in the region, one in a series of similar exercises across the nation. For the Upper East Region the exercise began in February this year and came to a close last Thursday, September 30.

Even though enthused by the coverage, which he put at over 3,700 or more than 90 per cent of the region's driving public, the DVLA Regional Director did not hide his dismay at the revelation pushed forth by the exercise.

Mr. Matey suggested constant police checks on the roads to compel drivers to renew their licences regularly. He also urged officials of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) to assist by constantly checking the licences of their members and by ensuring that only drivers with valid licences are allowed to operate.

On the possibility of an extension or mop-up exercise, the Regional Director said it was yet uncertain, but expressed the hope that the authorities in Accra would allow for an extension to enable the rest of the driving public in the region who missed the first opportunity, to replace their old licences. Mr. Matey expressed disappointment about the inadequate knowledge of road sings by drivers, and stressed the need for all who ply the roads to muster the Ghana Highway Code, which he described as the language of the road. "You cannot expect to drive safely on the road if you do not understand its language," he emphasised.