DVLA, don’t compromise road safety!

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has started enforcing the Road Traffic Regulation 2012 (Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180) whose Regulation 158 mandates it to ensure compliance with standards on the road to prevent carnage.

Thus, owners of 1,251 commercial and private vehicles in the Greater Accra Region have been sanctioned by the Authority for various defects and acts that constitute non-compliance with standards.

These include expired road-worthy certificates, defaced / obscure number plates, smoking exhausts, rickety bodies, fake customised plates/documents, faulty lighting/electrical system, non-existent bumper reflectors, physical conversion/vehicle body alteration, stylish number plates and tinted windscreen/front glass.

Currently, penalties to be paid, which the DVLA describes as delinquent fees, range from GH¢60 to GH¢2 500 and these must be paid to the Authority in addition to getting the defects fixed before the DVLA would renew their roadworthy certificates.

The Ghanaian Times is happy that finally, the DVLA has reminded itself of the need to discharge all its duties, not only vehicle registration, as required.

However, it seems some lapses would continue to exist as before.

Imagine the DVLA saying it has to suspend the roadworthy certificates of identified defective vehicles in its system until such time that the drivers or owners would come to renew their road-worthy certificates.

It is at this time that the Authority would let them repair their vehicles and pay for the delinquency.

From the time of suspension till the drivers or vehicle owners come to renew the road-worthy certificate is deemed the monitoring period.

The Authority’s explanation that during the monitoring period it does not have the time and chance to stop such vehicles is a huge aberration.

What happens if the drivers or vehicle owners decide to not go for the renewal of the road-worthy certificate?

The DVLA must not forget that during its special operation in the Greater Accra Region from January to June this year to clamp down on defective vehicles, it found out that road-worthy certification of 174 vehicles had expired as far back as 2019, yet they were on the road.

Meanwhile, the DVLA is touting itself as being concerned with the safety of road users.

Where is that achievement when the defects and the bad acts that constitute non-compliance of safety standards on the road are commonplace in the country?

Has the DVLA thought of it, for instance, that the smoke or carbon monoxide emitted on the road can cause health hazards for passengers and others while its officials are waiting till the time of the renewal of the road-worthy certificates?

It is impossible to have only smoke-free vehicles in any country, but there are allowable levels of smoking, which must be checked on the road.

Smoking exhaust is among the marks of rickety vehicles, with other defects including poor exteriors, sub-standard tyres, seats without belts, exposed electrical wires and sharp edges that pose danger to passengers.

These make rickety vehicles moving deathtraps and must be checked on daily basis.

The Ghanaian Times believes that now that the DVLA has made it clear it cannot be on the road to fully enforce the Road Traffic Regulation 2012, it should seek the strict collaboration of the police and even that of members of the public to do so.

Safety on the road cannot be compromised!

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