Revised highways code launched
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has launched a revised Ghana Highway Code, a document that provides regimes and standards for addressing modern traffic management challenges on the country’s highways.
The document addresses gaps in the existing Ghana Highway Code which was developed in 1974.
It also makes provisions for addressing emerging traffic management issues in line with international standards.
The Deputy Minister of Transport, Fredrick O. Adom, launched the revised highway code at the premises of DVLA in Accra last week.
Present at the launch of the document were the Board Chairman of the DVLA, Frank Davies; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the DVLA, Kwasi Agyeman Busia; Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Benjamin Arthur; and representatives of other state institutions, including security agencies.
Mr Adom said the development of the highway code was born out of extensive research, consultation with experts and feedback from multiple stakeholders.
He described the revised highway code as a critical milestone for the road transport sector because the changing times and dynamics in the industry made it important to get standards that responded to modern trends.
“With this new code, we aim to further enhance road safety, promote better understanding of road rules, and create a harmonious environment for all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians,” he said.
He added that apart from incorporating the latest advancements in technology, the new code went beyond “listing dos and don’ts on the road” to cultivate the culture of road safety and responsible driving among all road users.
Again, he said, the code encompassed principles such as defensive driving, respect for pedestrians, adherence to speed limits and responsible vehicle maintenance.
Mr Adom said other key features of the revised code included clear and concise information on road signs, comprehensive guidelines on sharing the road, with emphasis on the importance of mutual respect among different categories of road users.
He urged all stakeholders to prioritise the enforcement of the new code to ensure safety on the road.
The Director of Driver Training, Testing and Licensing (DTTL) at DVLA, Kafui Semevo, explained that the revised highway code had provisions that addressed emerging traffic management issues targeted at ensuring security on the roads and highways.
Mr Semevo said the revised code made traffic offences criminal for which offenders could be prosecuted.
The DTTL director also said as part of measures to make the highway code accessible to all persons, it would be translated into local languages.
He said the braille version of the code would also be developed to cater for persons with disability (PWDs).
Mr Busia said the revision of the code, which started in 2014, was consistent with the United Nations global plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020).
He said the code was all-encompassing because it was put together by a multi-stakeholder committee drawn from the National Road Safety Authority, Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Urban Roads, Department of Feeder Roads, Motor Traffic and Transport Division of the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Standards Authority and the DVLA.
Touching on the service delivery charter, he said it was a manifestation of DVLA’s commitment to modernise and continuously look for standardisation in enhancing service delivery.
He said the charter aligned with DVLA’s objective of being part of a public sector which was more customer-focused and productive.
“The charter is more than a document; it is a declaration of providing optimal services to our clients.
It serves as a precursor to the standards our clients should expect from us and outlines our responsibilities to them,” he said.