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Road crashes kill 2,080 in 10 months

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Mr Frank Davies (left), Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II (2nd left), Nana Ama Amissah (2nd right), Queen of Mankessim and Mr Kwasi Agyeman Busia (right) jointly inaugurating the new office complex

A total of 2,080 people were killed through road accidents between January and October this year, while 2,209 persons were knocked down, with 12,380 people sustaining injuries during the same period.

The Deputy Central Regional Commander of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, Mr Bismark John Sertodji, who made this known at the inauguration of a refurbished and expanded office edifice for the Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) in Cape Coast yesterday, said the figures were more than the total number of casualties recorded last year.

The new facility has two premium offices and a prestige office, spacious offices, a conference room, a banking hall, and provides enough space for driver licensing and vehicle registration services in one facility. It also has more decent washrooms.

Situation worrying

Mr Sertodji said the statistics was worrying and called on all key stakeholders, including the DVLA, the MTTD and the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) to help reduce the carnage on the country’s roads.

“ A life lost cannot be brought back so we should all safeguard every life," he stated.

He urged all drivers to respect the rights of other road users, adhere to road signs and avoid speeding.

He further urged transport unions to ensure that drivers left their stations without taking alcoholic beverages, tramadol or any substance or intoxicant which would influence their judgement when driving.

Electronic registration

The Chairman of the DVLA Board, Mr Frank Davies, for his part, said the DVLA would roll out its electronic vehicle registration system in 2021.

This new system, he said, was set to make Ghana one of the few countries in sub-Saharan Africa to register vehicles within an hour.

He said the authority had already piloted the system, which was set to be more efficient compared to the manual registration.

Mr Davies stated that the inauguration of the new office facility was part of a steady march towards achieving its plan to continue to find new ways to make the operations of DVLA less cumbersome and efficient.

He said the DVLA was committed to put customers at the centre of its operations.

“We are here to change and uplift the image of the authority and we are here to be the best public sector performing organisation in the country," he stated.

He said the DVLA'S motto: “Your Safety, Our Concern,” had been the guiding principle, adding that the concern for the safety of the motoring public had necessitated the refurbishment and expansion of the office.

Digitisation

“The operations in this new office complex we are about to commission will be consistent with the DVLA's new normal of digitisation and system integration. We shall continue our collaboration with our stakeholders for more rigorous enforcement of regulations and for implementing creative ways to entrench our work, both technical and cultural, through the use of technology and various analytical tools," he stated.

Mr Davies said the DVLA would continue to implement various systems aimed at protecting the privacy of our customers’ data and other personal information.

He indicated that the inauguration of the office added to the list of improvements and innovations that had been introduced in recent times to ensure customers had access to improved services in comfort.

He said DVLA offices in Bolgatanga, Obuasi and Techiman had also been remodelled and would be inaugurated next year.

“There are plans to open new offices in Dambai in the Oti Region, Damango in the Savannah Region and Nalerigu in the North East Region towards ensuring that we have presence in all 16 regional capitals,” he disclosed.

New offices, operations

The Chief Executive Officer of the DVLA, Mr Kwesi Agyeman Busia, said the DVLA had evolved into one of the most highly performing public sector institutions with new and innovative services, including its mobile services and the Tertiary Students Driving Project to extend services closer to corporate and other identifiable bodies and students in tertiary institutions.

He said the DVLA was also in the process of introducing a voice over in its computer-based test in six local languages, namely Ga, Akan, Ewe, Dagbani, Nzema and Hausa to make it easier for those without formal education to fully comprehend.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Transport, Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah, commended the DVLA for its efforts at bettering services, adding that the government would continue to support the authority's efforts to improve its services.

The Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, in his remarks, expressed concern about the bad  habit of tricycle riders in the metropolis and their disregard for the road signs which put other road users at risk and called for steps to control their activities.

Osabarimba Kwesi Atta commended the authority for consistently improving its services to meet the changing digital world and working to reach others through the local languages.

He further expressed worry about the intermediaries popularly called "goro boys" and asked that they be weeded out to ensure efficiency. He also called for the efficient maintenance of the edifice.

The new DVLA building in Cape Coast.