The police administration is reported to have directed personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Police Service to suspend all motor checks in the country with immediate effect.
An internal wireless message issued by the police which has now become public knowledge asked that the personnel “be used only for traffic management duties” and that regional, divisional and unit commanders “are to ensure that no permits are issued for motor check duties”.
This decision has been received with mixed feelings.
While some motorists are happy, for obvious reasons, others, including stakeholder institutions such as the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), cannot be happy with such a decision.
Regrettably, the Police Administration did not proffer any reason for its decision.
The issue has become topical because between January and September this year, 1,500 people died from road carnage.
This figure does not include those maimed or the damage caused to vehicles, as well as the man hours lost as a result of the road accidents.
What is even more worrying is that in July this year, a joint national task force apprehended the drivers of more than 800 vehicles along the Sakumono-Tema Beach road for driving without licences, use of fake licences and the use of expired roadworthiness certificates.
If such a high number could be apprehended on just one stretch of road, we can imagine the situation countrywide.
That is why the Daily Graphic believes that the Police Administration must reconsider its decision on this important subject. Already, the seeming withdrawal or collapse of Police Visibility personnel from key road intersections is not helping the situation.
Many a time, motorists and passengers alike have complained, not because of the checks by personnel of the MTTD but the manner in which they conduct the checks. Some of the personnel have been given nicknames on the roads not because of the good things they do but the bad things they indulge in.
We dare say that people will link the decision of the Police Administration to politics, whatever the reason is. But death or injury is not the preserve of any political party or section of society.
In the heat of the electioneering, we need to protect lives and property, and we can do this if our MTTD personnel are made to work and carry out the duty of checking motorists to ensure that no one sits behind the steering wheel without the appropriate licence.