Government's directive to the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Police Service to revert to its initial responsibility of removing broken down vehicles from the roads, seems to have hit rocks in the Brong Ahafo Region as the region cannot boast of a single working towing truck.
Following the suspension of the towing levy provided by the Road Traffic Regulations 2012 (LI 2180), Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, directed the police to live up to their responsibility of ensuring broken down vehicles are towed off the country's roads, especially the highways to avert the occurrence of preventable crashes.
Road Traffic Regulations, 1974 (LI 952) and (LI 953) mandates the police to tow away abandoned vehicles on highways.
According to the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), road accidents alone cost Ghana 1.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) annually, which translates into about 2,000 deaths on the average per year.
For instance, in 2015 and 2016 alone, 3,832 people died on the country’s roads, while 20,479 others were injured.
However, in the Brong Ahafo Region, the MTTD may have little to do to save lives that may be lost through road crashes that will result from abandoned vehicles on the region's highways.
In an interview with Peacefmonline.com, Superintendent Stella Sedame, the Commander for the MTTD in the region, disclosed that her outfit cannot boast of one towing truck which will make it difficult for the MTTD to tow away broken down vehicles on roads.
She said "the MTTD in the region used to have some trucks to tow vehicles on the roads and at accident scenes but they have broken down so we have to rely on private towing companies."
Superintendent Sedame said the private towing companies are not reliable in terms of swift response, a situation she termed as "very pathetic."
She continued that:"the IGP knows we are under resourced . . . I have been following up on the situation but nobody seems to care so much about it. We are only relying on hopes."
She contended that the directive from government will not be effective until the MTTD is well resourced to carry out that constitutional mandate.
Dangers On Roads
As at 1st April, 2017, Sixty-seven (67) people had died through 110 road accidents in the Brong Ahafo Region between January and March, according to the MTTD.
If the police in the region keeps relying on private towing companies to keep the highways safe, the figures are more likely to escalate by the end of 2017.
Major towns in the region like, Atebubu, Kintampo, Wenchi, Dormaa Ahenkro, Goaso, Sampa, Sankore, and Yeji that are not closer to Sunyani always have broken down vehicles on its roads which are not towed immediately. Such vehicles pose dangers to commuters at night, especially when they are left on the roads without warning triangles for weeks.
The roads with most of these cases are the Nkoranza -Atebubu, Wenchi - Sampa, Bibiani -Kukuom, Tepa -Goaso, Nkrankwanta - Dormaa and Drobo - Berekum.
According to some police personnel at Drobo, Achirensua and Wenchi, it is always difficult getting towing trucks from Sunyani to these areas to tow abandoned vehicles thereby worsening the dangers on the region's highways.
Source: Henryson Okrah
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