The Accra Motor Court has fined 388 drivers a total of GH¢ 41,430 for the misuse of sirens and hazard lights to beat traffic during rush hours in the city.
This followed a joint exercise launched by the Police and the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) to check motorists on the abuse of sirens and hazard lights in the country.
The Director General at the Public Affairs Directorate of the Ghana Police Service, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr David Senanu Eklu, who disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra last Friday, said the drivers were apprehended at various points within the metropolis including Airport Aviation, Spintex, Pokuase, Amasaman and Accra Central.
In all, he said, 400 drivers were arrested for breaking the law and that the 388 drivers were put before court and fined various sums of money totalling GH¢ 41,430 as the rest were still in court.
He added that 148 motorbike riders, who were also arrested for jumping red rights, were fined a total of GH¢89,220 while the case of two others were still pending before the court.
Mr Eklu explained that the exercise was not to harass or intimidate motorists but rather ensure the safety of pedestrians and other road users.
“Now that we have successfully implemented the first phase of arresting and fining the motorists, our next move is to start naming and shaming owners of V8 vehicles who also flout the laws.
The Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180 of the Road traffic Regulation 74 (2) states that ‘a person shall not fix on a motor vehicle warning appliance other than the type approved by the Licensing Authority.
Any person who contravenes the regulation is liable to a fine of not more than 25 penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days or both.”
Mr Eklu expressed optimism that the exercise would not only ensure sanity on the roads but also serve as a deterrent to other potential offenders.
In April 2017, the Ghana Police Service gave an ultimatum to persons who have unlawfully installed sirens in their vehicles to dismantle them or faced the law.
Only specific state vehicles including ambulances and bullion vans are allowed to install and use sirens and hazard lights in the country.
And during the launch of the exercise, the Inspector General of Police ( IGP) Mr David Asante-Apeatu, said the abuse of sirens had become a concern to most road users and, therefore, advised the public to report such incidents for immediate action.
According to the IGP, the practice did not only posed danger to unsuspecting road users but also created unnecessary noise and disturbances to the public.
The police had been widely criticised for their inability to arrest drivers who misuse sirens on the roads, especially in cities such as Accra.