Government halts mandatory towing levy

Kwaku Ofori Asiamah,Minister of Transport (4)

Kwaku Ofori Asiamah,Minister of Transport

The government has decided not to implement the controversial mandatory National Vehicle Towing Levy which has attracted a lot of opposition from sections of the public.

The decision follows an extensive consultation between the Ministry for Transport and stakeholders in the sector after public outrage .
A statement signed by Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Transport Minister and issued yesterday said government had decided to rather seek a review of parts of the law.

“Government renews its commitment to the policy position that broken down vehicles ought to be removed from our roads to avert accidents.
“New modalities for dealing with the problem of broken down or disabled vehicles will be formulated and announced in due course,” it said.
Parliament, in 2012, passed Legislative Instrument 2180 (Road Traffic Regulations) of which in regulation 102(3) imposes a mandatory levy on all owners and persons in charge of motorvehicles, for the purpose  of towing broken down or disabled vehicles  on the roads.

The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), a few months ago, announced its implementation effective July 1 with drivers required to pay a fee ranging between GH¢10 and GH¢200, in addition to their road worthy certification.
The announcement was met with stiff opposition from several civil society organisations, vehicle owners and drivers, calling on government to scrap the levy immediately.

The plan to allow only the Road Safety Management Services Ltd, to execute the contract for the towing project was also criticised following scandals associated with him.
In the midst of agitations, the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament recommended the implementation of the levy, deepening the agitation and attracting a potential national demonstration.
Government intervened saying the Transport Ministry would hold consultations with various stakeholders including the Parliamentary Select Committee on roads and transport on the matter.
The statement, released after the said consultation, said the objective of the review of the policy was to specifically ensure the removal from the law, the concept of the mandatory towing levy on all owners and persons in charge of motor vehicles and trailers.
“It is also to ensure that the role of government in the provision of towing services would be limited to only licensing and regulating services providers,” it said.

By Jonathan Donkor

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