dvla try to step up driving in the country

worst driver

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is in the process of developing penalty points for drivers who disobey traffic regulations in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Mr Justice Amegashie, who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Economic Tribune in Accra, said the penalty points is to influence and improve driver behaviour in Ghana and also address the unacceptable levels of death and serious injury on the roads.

?Obtaining and acquiring a driving license is not a right but a privilege and we at DVLA believe that implementing this penalty points would ensure sanity on our roads,? Mr Amegashie told Economic Tribune.

The DVLA Boss said his plan was to transform DVLA into a world class organization, which is better positioned to deliver improved quality services of international standards and contributes substantially towards casualty reduction.

A penalty point is essentially a formal reprimand endorsed on one?s driving license that shows that he or she is guilty of a specified driving offence. While penalty points are endorsed on one?s driving license, the points do not physically appear on the license. Instead, they are recorded on the driving license record. International experience has demonstrated that the penalty points system has proven successful in reducing the number of road deaths in countries that introduced it.

Report says in Ireland for instance, no driver is allowed to drive a vehicle while holding 12 current penalty points on their driving license. Any driver that receives 12 penalty points in any three year period will be automatically faced with a six-month disqualification from driving.

Numerous reports say road accidents cost the nation $288 million in 2008. The amount does not include the direct and indirect cost of road accidents to relatives of victims ? wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, and children. It does not also include funeral costs and the cost of having to do without loved ones and breadwinners.

Through road accidents, many children have become destitute. Companies, businesses, and state institutions have lost many experienced and competent employees through this deadly canker. What makes Ghana?s situation worse is that majority of the people do not have life and disability insurance policies from which they or their dependants can get some financial support when they are involved in accidents.

The aforementioned distressing situation thus calls for drastic intervention by the government and its agencies like the DVLA and the Police and indeed all citizens to play their role in ensuring drastic reduction in road accidents in Ghana. It is very heartening that the DVLA is at long last taking the initiatives to address the problem which remains, undoubtedly, one of the biggest concerns and fears of every Ghanaian.

Over the past, DVLA through the able leadership of its CEO, Justice Amegashie, has collaborated with the DVLA/MTTU to undertake a number of road side checks with the aim of preventing old vehicles from plying the roads. The Authority has procured three vehicles dedicated solely to the MTTU taskforce activities. In Kumasi for instance, over 10,000 vehicles were inspected in 2011. Since 2010, all the communication materials and messages of DVLA are geared towards educating road users on safety.

?We have realized that people are driving vehicles that are over and above the class of driving licence they hold. We have, therefore, developed posters to educate our clients on the classes of license and the vehicles that one has to drive with a particular license,? the DVLA Boss added.

The Authority was also able to license some new private testing stations and also develop four draft legislative instruments for driving schools and driving instructors. The procurement of mobile testing equipment and the introduction of computer adaptive test are among the numerous initiatives taken by DVLA under the leadership of Mr Amegashie since his assumption of office in 2009.

?The computer adaptive test is to ensure credibility, integrity and transparency in the administration of the driver license administration. We want our clients to have more confidence in the test result. The manual way of doing things is now a thing of the past,? the DVLA Boss stated.

He continued: ?There is a great reform in the driver license administration. New legislative instruments have been drafted for the introduction of probational license and private sector participation in vehicle testing. So far, four Private Vehicle Testing Stations (PVTS) have been licensed to operate in the Greater Accra Region.? This initiative is expected to be replicated in other regions very soon as the DVLA also prepares to provide the same service to its customers in all its offices.

DVLA is also leveraging on the use of information technology to deliver superior value preposition to its clients. Currently, clients of the entity can access renewal of their driving license. The Authority opened more offices across the country in order to bring its services to the door steps of the masses.

?Infrastructure development is ongoing rapidly. We are building a new head office complex in Accra. When completed, it shall have a Research Department, Conference and Business Development Units, Library, training facilities and a gym,? Mr Amegashie disclosed, adding that, these facilities would augment the efforts of the old staff and help push the objectives of the organisation forward.

Source : Economic Tribune

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