The Ghana Police Service has realised GH¢350,000 in fines from road traffic offenders in two months.
The Police Headquarters Traffic Enforcement Team, set up on June 17, 2019, arrested and prosecuted 799 drivers who paid the fines that have been channelled into the Consolidated Fund.
The road traffic offenders were arrested between June 17, 2019 and August 20, 2019.
Majority of the offenders were private car drivers, mostly of four-wheel vehicles, public officials using government vehicles, as well as saloon cars.
The task force, which is working in collaboration with Citi TV, was set up to check road traffic violations and other acts of indiscipline on the roads, a campaign the Accra-based television station has sustained for some months.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Simon Tenkuu of the Police Public Affairs Directorate, who is attached to the team, told the Daily Graphic that the common offences committed by the drivers were driving on the shoulders of the road, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving without licence and the use of motor vehicles without road worthy certificates.
He said the use of motor vehicles without insurance policies, misuse of sirens and trade plates were among the leading offences.
Mr Tenkuu said the least fine so far had been GH¢240 for failing to regularise road safety documents and the maximum fine of GH¢1,800 for dangerous and inconsiderate driving.
He said majority of the accused paid between GH¢700 and GH¢1,200 for driving on the wrong side of the road.
“Those who were slapped with more than GH¢1,000 fines mostly committed multiple offences and were, therefore, charged with multiple counts,” he explained, adding that siren abusers were often fined beyond GH¢800.
Mr Tenkuu said less than one per cent of the 799 arrested were cautioned and discharged for showing remorse for offences, which included failing to display stickers.
He advised motorists to ensure that their driving licences and roadworthy stickers were up to date.
“Drivers or riders must avoid recklessness and strictly adhere to road traffic laws such as driving on the correct side of the road, obeying traffic and road traffic regulations,” he said.
He stressed the need for all road users, including pedestrians, passengers and the principal road safety characters – drivers/riders — to be safety conscious at all times.
He said pedestrians must always make the conscious effort to cross the road and board vehicles at designated points to enhance safety.
The General Manager of Citi TV, Mr Bernard Koku Avle, told the Daily Graphic that the War Against Indiscipline, hash-tagged ‘#WAI’, was a one-year campaign by the television station which started in June 2019 and would end in May 2020.
He said the social marketing campaign was to help reshape the behaviour and attitudes of Ghanaians.
“We started with a focus on road traffic indiscipline because of the spate of carnage on our roads. We focused on abuse of traffic regulations by vehicle drivers and we are moving to deal with the menace of motorbike riders in the coming days,” Mr Avle said.
He indicated that the core pillars of the campaign were education, enforcement and engineering, adding that the first phase had already received the support of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority and the National Road Safety Commission.
Mr Avle said sanitation, waste management, the built environment and urban planning components would follow in due course.