Over 800 drivers caught in DVLA road offences exercise
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has apprehended drivers of more than 800 vehicles for various road traffic offences on the Sakumono-Tema Beach Road.
The offences include driving without licence, driving with fake licence, fake or expired roadworthiness certificates and driving rickety vehicles.
Out of the number, 368 drivers were issued with prohibition notices requiring them to fix defective parts of their vehicles, while those caught with fake licences and roadworthiness certificates are to be processed for court.
The inspection, carried out by the DVLA, in collaboration with the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, over the last six weeks, was meant to ensure compliance with and enforcement of road traffic regulations.
In the course of the exercise yesterday, drivers with worn out tyres, expired fire extinguishers and damaged bumpers; those driving without warning triangles and reflectors and those with weak suspension and bad breaking systems were cautioned, ordered to repair the defects and send their vehicles to testing centres for diagnosis.
Others with rickety vehicles were also cautioned and directed to work on their vehicles and replace the defective parts.
The DVLA National Co-ordinator in charge of Compliance and Enforcement, Mr Joseph Clifford Obosu, said drivers caught with counterfeit licences and roadworthiness certificates would be put before court in the coming days.
“ We want to prove where they got their documents, so we can also trace the source and deal with it,” he said.
He admitted that there were people in the system producing fake licences and roadworthiness certificates because the DVLA would not issue certificates for just any car.
One of the revelations that came up during the exercise was that car owners used good vehicles to obtain roadworthiness certificates for rickety vehicles.
Mr Obosu pointed out that it was an offence to use a car to acquire a roadworthiness certificate for another car and warned that the authority would not spare persons who indulged in the act.
He said the initiative had come to stay and urged motorists to do what was expected of them, as the authority was not out to harass them.
DVLA licence processing
While critics of the DVLA say the process for acquiring licences is too long and cumbersome, thereby encouraging unscrupulous people to cut corners, the Head of Public Relations of the DVLA, Mr Kwaku Darko Afari, said the strict measures were because the work of the DVLA bordered on life and death.
“We don’t think the process is cumbersome; Ghanaians have to be patient because the issues we handle are about life and death.
“We need to take our time to ensure that when we give you a licence to drive, we can trust that you can drive competently on the road. It is not just about giving someone a driver’s licence; it is about protecting lives as well,” he said.
Currently, the DVLA gives three months for the public to acquire driving licences, starting from the driving school to the practical driving, but there are complaints that the timeline is not guaranteed.
To keep DVLA documents easily updated and synchronised with those of police systems, Mr Afari said the authority had, earlier this year, embarked on a digitisation of its data.
The process is expected to be completed in October.
* In August last year, 68 out of 99 holders of fake licences were convicted by the motor court.
* In June this year, 28 people were arrested for allegedly dealing in fake roadworthy certificates.