Ensuring Road Safety Standards: Meeting On Spot Fine Implementation Held
A Stakeholder Consultative Meeting to discuss the implementation of the spot fine mechanism in Ghana has taken place in Accra with a call on motorists to help make Ghana's road transportation system the safest in Africa.
The first Consultative Meeting was organized by the Motor Traffic and Transport Unit [MTTU] of the Ghana Police Service in collaboration with the National Road Safety Commission [NRSC].
In her address, the Minister for Transport, Miss Dzifa Attvor, urged participants to approach the meeting and its subsequent ones with the seriousness it deserves so that together they can develop a realistic and workable system to implement the regulation.
Safety on the roads is the responsibility of all Ghanaians and therefore the successful implementation of the provisions in the road Traffic Regulations will undoubtedly depend on the role played by all stakeholders, she said.
She indicated that the fight to ensure safety on the roads should not be left only to the NRSC as the Commission alone cannot win the war despite the much resources invested into their road safety programmes.
''The Ministry is therefore happy to be associated with this meeting because the implementation of the decision to be taken here will go a long way to bring some sanity on our roads'' she pointed out.
The Minister expressed the optimism that the Spot Fine Regulation when implemented will not only bring about a marked change in the way the people conduct themselves as drivers but will also inculcate in them the sense of awareness and the need to be extra careful in order not to fall foul to the provisions in the regulations.
According to her, records available during the first quarter of this year on road crashes is nothing to be proud of and as such called on stakeholders to do their best to bring the situation under control.
She assured the gathering of her Ministry's continues provision of leadership and support to ensure that road fatalities in the country are reduced by 50% at the end of the United Nations Decade of Action.
''Ghanaians are capable of overcoming the situation and therefore should not throw their hands in despair, but should continuously put in their best efforts to confront the situation'' she encouraged.Miss Dzifa Attivor , further urged all stakeholders who have direct responsibility in implementing some portions of the Road Traffic Regulations to put in necessary measures to ensure that implementation starts without further delay.
She disclosed that the new Road Traffic Regulations have provisions for continuous education of commercial drivers that requires all commercial drivers to show evidence of having gone through a refresher course before the renewal of their driving license.
'' We are charting a new course towards meeting our obligations and responsibilities under the Road Traffic Act to ensure the safety of all the people on the road and it is the responsibility of every citizen to support this cause to ensure safety on our roads''.
The Transport Minister commended both the Ghana Police Service and the National Road Safety Commission for the organization of the meeting and further describes the Spot Fine as an agenda high on the Government's calendar.
On his part, the MTTU Commander, ACP Awuni, in his presentation on the proposed implementation of the spot fine mechanism, indicated that his outfit will as a first step establish Spot Fine Offices[SFO] nationwide to provide the day to day administration of the regulations.
He among other things mentioned that the SFO as part of its functions will establish Special Traffic Enforcement Teams [TETs] to be stationed mainly in Regional Capitals within the MTTU operation centers and to also plan, supervise, monitor and coordinate TET activities.
The SFO ASP Awuni disclosed will as part of its functions further establish pay points in collaboration with recognized banking institutions to which all spot fines shall be paid, maintain data base on spot fines, facilitate prosecution of spot fine offence cases, manage all spot fine related revenue and to produce reports and disseminate the information accordingly.
The MTTU Boss further explained that his Officers will apprehend motorists who commit traffic offences prescribed under Spot Fines and issue out Spot Fine Tickets [SFT] to them. Motorists issued with the SFT are required to make payments of full amount indicated to the nearest pay point which are the Ghana Commercial Bank, Agricultural Development Bank and the Bank for Africa within 24 hours.
He stressed that a person issued with SFT shall have his or her driving license retrieved and will only be released back to the motorist upon payment of the fine with evidence and that failure to comply with payments demand shall result to higher costs, possible suspension or revocation of drivers license or prosecution.
On the future plan beyond December 2013 for the Spot Fine Regulation, he said that plans are far advanced to adopt ICT online services for payment using VISA and Mastercard, infringement notices among others.
ACP Awuni was confidence the Spot Fine when implemented will not only improve enforcement activities by shortening prosecution processes, freeing law courts of minor traffic offenses but will also ensure increased compliance with road traffic as well as save lives of both motorists and pedestrians.