New Towing Levy

Feature Article New Towing Levy
OCT 25, 2021 LISTEN

The decision of the National Road Safety Authority to impose a towing levy on all car owners is practically untenable and operationally unfair. The reasons that induced a nation-wide demand for the rejection of the levy in the past have not been addressed in the new proposed levy. The imposition of the towing levy can be done in several other ways and not just the method the National Road Safety Authority considers appropriate.

The model of the National Road Safety Authority is fundamentally faulty. The persons that need to be targeted for the payment of the levy are those whose vehicles will break down on the road and expose other road users to the risk of accident. There is no basis to tax every vehicle owner to resolve this challenge. The proposal of the state and its agency, the NRSA, to choose this method to levy all vehicle owners can be seen in the reluctance of government to address this issue properly.

The State and its agency, the National Road Safety Authority are not committed to removing the risk on the roads of Ghana by towing broken down vehicles. The solution to address this challenge can be found in establishing towing companies just like Ambulance Services at the Assemblies. The nature of the problem does not require the sort of solution or measure the state intends to implement. Towing companies should be established in every district and manage by the state through the Assemblies or managed by a private individual. However, these towing firms or companies should not be allowed to levy every car owner. It is economically unwise to pay such levies to the state by vehicle owners. Charges should be based on the performance of services to broken down vehicle owners. The incidence of this levy will put unnecessary and excessive financial burden on vehicle owners.

The towing of broken down vehicles require the operation of a strategy similar to the one employed by the Ghana Ambulance Service. The government of Ghana needs to procure enough towing vehicles to be used by the District Assemblies. The District Assemblies, like the State, are not efficient in managing resources of State. Such facilities can better be managed by private individuals to avoid the waste often experienced in the public sector. But a private company will charge ridiculous prices to make undue profit.

The state agency in charge of the implementation of this strategy has not demonstrated its readiness to practically execute the plan. There should be the establishment of towing companies, if the whole project is state-led, before the practical implementation of the policy. The people of Ghana should demand the procedure and the strategy to be used by the company to tow broken down vehicles.

There is a huge financial opportunity in levying every vehicle owner. So, the state wants to capitalize on this opportunity to accumulate funds for other projects. The inefficiency of the state in managing the use of funds for specific projects should not be allowed to be extended to issues on our roads. The state has been diverting funds for specific projects and neglecting the main projects funds are meant for. It is probable the state will misuse the funds that will be accrued from this levy while the issue continues to exist as time passes.

There is the need for a comprehensive analysis of the proposal of the National Road Safety Authority in determining which strategy is appropriate to removing the risks on the roads of Ghana. If the towing of broken down vehicles is the solution to reduce the risks on the roads, the procedure to implement it has not properly been identified.

The issue can be addressed differently by empowering the various District Assemblies to penalise vehicle owners who refuse to tow their broken down vehicles within a particular time limit of occurrence. This strategy will not impose any financial burden on all vehicle owners. It thus puts the responsibility to tow any broken down vehicle on the owner and a company within the area. If there are limited towing companies to execute this idea, the state can lead the Assemblies by establishing state towing companies for such purposes.

The new towing levy needs to be rejected like the earlier one. It does not make economic and practical sense for every vehicle owner to pay the towing levy. The idea can be packaged and executed by creating efficient towing companies at the Assemblies.

Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey

Economics Tutor, Advocate and Religion Enthusiast.

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