Police Unable To Implement Spot Fines Due To Disagreement Over Collection Of Money

The inability of stakeholders to agree on who should collect spot fines as part of the Legislative Instrument (LI 2180) on the Road Traffic Acts has stalled its implementation. Although the Ghana Police Service is ready to implement the policy, the stakeholders, namely the Attorney-General’s Department, Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Transport and the transport unions are yet to agree on who should handle the finances. That, according to the Director of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Awuni Angwubutoge, is stalling the smooth take off of the policy. Police readiness Mr Awuni, who was speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic at a three-day training programme for accident investigators, said “the police are ready just that we don’t want to add the collection of fines to our job”. According to him, the spot fines have the potential to drastically reduce some of the indiscipline on the roads and also reduce the number of road traffic crashes. Training The training, he said, was geared towards building the capacity of the accident investigators in line with the changing trends in contemporary times and to enhance their professional ability to handle all accident cases without let or hindrance. It would also tackle the deficiencies in accident handling by investigators to make them more relevant to society. In all, 74 accident investigators from all the regions of the country are taking part in the three-day capacity-building programme. The Director in charge of Planning and Programmes at the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Mr David Osafo Adonteng, also appealed to the Ghana Police Service to reconsider its decision to withdraw its men from the road. He said the presence of the police on the road went a long way to curb the indiscipline by drivers on the road and was also of the firm belief that the implementation of the spot fines would also help reduce the carnage on the road. Notwithstanding the logistical challenges facing the service, he said the police had been doing a great job in reducing accidents through their outreach and enforcement of the law. The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Nathan Kofi Boakye, explained that the police service decided to withdraw its men from road duties following complaints from the public over the activities of the men who were found to be extorting money from drivers. He said often, the MTTU men deployed on the road went there to seek their own welfare than to enforce the law which was bringing the name of the service into disrepute. The introduction of the spot fine is in line with Regulation 157 of Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180 passed by Parliament in 2012, which states: “A person who commits a road traffic offence specified in the Seventh Schedule is liable to pay a spot fine.” Offences The spot fine will cover minor traffic offences such as driving a vehicle without reflectors, non-conformity with restrictions on horns and sirens, driving by underage persons, using a communication device while driving and using a motorcycle or tricycle for commercial passenger services. Also failure to renew one’s driving licence, driving on the shoulders of the road, failure to use the seatbelt, among similar offences, will fall within the spot fine system. The use of the spot fine system is intended to quicken the administration of justice for minor traffic offenders and also help increase compliance with road traffic regulations and reduce indisciplined acts by drivers.