Spot fine in the freezer more than a year after planned introduction (20 October 2014)

More than a year after the announcement of the introduction of a spot fine system to discipline drivers who go against road regulations, the system is yet to take off.

Under the new system being jointly undertaken by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Ghana Police Service and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), drivers who flout road regulations more than twice will have their licences revoked.

“When you commit the offence, our electronic system will generate your profile as an offending driver so that we can track your performance to advise us on where to place you in the risk factor as a driver,” the Director of Planning of the National Road Safety Commission, Mr David Adonteng, said in September last year.

What is spot fine? 

Spot fines otherwise known as ticketing in other parts of the world are used to punish road traffic offenders.

In some states in the US, offences including driving under the influence of alcohol, knocking down of pedestrians and cyclists, illegal racing and accumulation of 12 or more offences within 12 months could lead to a driver losing his or her licence.

A driver whose license is revoked will have to go through the new process of application after a specified period.

But a year after the scheduled introduction, the initiative meant to bring sanity on the country’s road is yet to take off.

Why the delay? 

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, however, the Head of Communications of NRSC, Mr Kwame Kodua Atuahene, said apart from new partners for the project that had come on board, there were procurement challenges that had caused the delay.

He said the partners were supporting the initiative with equipment and the procurement process was a little cumbersome.

He was, however, quick to add that a press conference scheduled for today would address the issue.

Offences that will attract spot fine

Among offences that would attract the spot fine are jumping red light, driving without seat belt, driving without licence, using the wrong licence for the wrong vehicle, speeding, refusal to renew roadworthy certificate, use of unspecified tinted glass, driving a vehicle without reflectors at the back, failure to wear protective clothing while on motorbikes, driving on the shoulders of the road, talking on phone while driving, the use of foreign driving licence, obstruction of intersections or pedestrian crossing.

The system was scheduled to be introduced in May but was suspended after public outcry over the possibility of abuse by the police.

But Mr Adonteng had explained that that would not be the case this time.

“This time round, money will not change hands. The police will not be required to receive any money anywhere. Payment will be done electronically or directly to the pay point.”

If you commit any of the offences you have to pay some amount of money within 24 hours after the offence,” he said.

Ghana’s roads are notorious for accidents which claim, on the average, six lives daily.

The country recorded 2,249 deaths through road accidents in 2012. Last year, 1539 lives were lost.
Five hundred and twenty people died in road crashes in 3,512 accidents nationwide in the first quarter of this year.

In addition, 3,301 people sustained various degrees of injures in the process.

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