Lawlessness on the streets of the Western regional capital of Sekondi-Takoradi involving the use of unregistered vehicles has reached? its crescendo, compelling the police to move to the streets to enforce the laws on the use of defective vehicle (DV) and direct from port (DP) number plates.

According to the? Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) regional officials, the use of trade plates DV and DP is governed by rules, which must be respected.

Vehicles issued with the DP trade plates have up to 15-days to change to DV plate for the vehicle to be taken to the licensing office for due registration or kept in the garage until the owners are ready to register it.

But the case is different. According to the regional director, some vehicle owners have turned the DV/DP number plates into registered number plates and are using the vehicles contrary to the regulation.

In the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis, according to the police, people use these number plates without knowing the laws regulating their use.

The DVLA document made available to the Daily Graphic on the use of special trade licence plate indicate that the plate shall not be issued and used except under special circumstances.

It said the DP plate was issued? when a motor vehicle had been loaded from a ship, lighter, railways or the vehicle was being driven to the dealer?s or fleet owner?s place of business.

The plate is also issued when the vehicle is being tested after having been received, assembled or repaired at the dealer?s or the fleet owner?s place of business.

The DV number plate is used when a motor vehicle is being tried by or on behalf of an intending purchaser.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Western Regional Commander of Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), DSP Thomas Bayor, said several vehicle owners were using these plates contrary to the rules.

He said the regulation stated that? no person should? use trade licence plates outside business hours, between the hours of 6:a.m. to 7p.m., however, people used these vehicles with DV and DP plates all the time, disregarding all the rules.

The use of DV and DP number plates, he said, was regulated by Section 50 (b) of the Road Traffic Act 2004, Act 683, which, among others, prohibited users from carrying passengers or goods for hiring or reward.

DSP Bayor said? the Act further prohibited the use of trade plates for social activities such as funerals, weddings and carrying of children to and from school, family, relatives and friends.

?It is? interesting to note that in the metropolis and on the? highways, vehicles with these trade number plates are used, and some for wedding, and it is? clear the public are either ignoring the rules or were not aware of them,? he said

He said at the moment, 17 vehicles with? DV and DP plates had been pulled off from the road, and were being? processed for court under the Section 50 (b) of the Road Traffic Act 2004, Act 683.

?The regulation also prohibits trade number plates to be used in carrying passengers or goods or for hiring for a reward, and the vehicle should not be driven by more than one person. But the case in the region is that people carry passengers in their DV and DP plated vehicles with impunity,? he said.

When the Daily Graphic moved through town, some of the vehicles were actually seen being used for weddings and other purposes .

Others were of the view that because the vehicles arrived in the second half of the year, they wanted to use the DV plates until the vehicles were registered in 2014.

Some vehicle dealers also told the Daily Graphic that people who came from abroad on holidays sometimes came to rent the vehicles and they used the DV plates for a short period.

Mr Godson Wemegah said it was a great source of worry that many people had resorted to the use of the trade licences as a normal registered plates.

By Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu/Daily Graphic/Ghana

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