Unless state of the art towing vehicles are provided the Ghana Police Service says it will continue using its 1952 strategies to manage the 2017 challenges on Ghana’s roads.
Director in Charge of Research, Education and Training, DSP Alexander Obeng told Joy News the Service is hugely under-equipped despite been handed the responsibility to tow broken down vehicles on Ghana’s roads.
He said his outfit will depend on the same strategies formulated in 1952 to attempt to solve the problem of towing broken down vehicles.
DSP Obeng was reacting to government’s decision to discontinue the mandatory towing levy policy which has grabbed the headlines for several weeks.
The law on towing levy was passed in 2012 with a five year moratorium placed on it.
The Public Private Partnership (PPP) project involving the Road Safety Commission, the Police and the DVLA required that vehicle owners will pay a mandatory road safety fee for the purposes of towing vehicles that breakdown on the country’s roads.
Per the law, all vehicle and motorcycle owners were expected to pay a mandatory levy of between 10- 100 cedis.
Road Safety Management Services Limited a company owned by the Jospong Group, was to take 85 per cent of the proceeds to be accrued by from the levy so collected. The rest will be shared by the Ghana Police Service, National Road Safety Commission, the Ambulance Service.
The law which was supposed to take effect on July 1 2017, was kicked against by a good number of Ghanaians.
Under a heavy dose of criticism, the government decided to hold on until further consultation with stakeholders. A second implementation date was announced after the consultation but the public criticisms against the levy saw no sign of abating.
Government has now decided to withdraw the policy completely until sections of the law is properly worked on.
In the meantime, the police administration which had a responsibility to tow broken down vehicles have been asked to continue its duties.
But DSP Alexander Obeng said the police have logistical challenges which must be addressed as soon as possible.
“Since 1952 nothing has changed till today as you are speaking to me…What we have since 1952 is what we are doing and that is the level and of our capacity and service delivery,” he said.
Explaining the strategy he said when a vehicle breaks down now the owners are supposed to get a towing truck driver if he is available given the capacity of the vehicle he has to look for it. If he doesn’t find he will have to inform the traffic police.
He said sometimes the traffic police do not have the means to tow some of these vehicles that have broken down on the roads. But we managing, he added.
He said it sometimes takes days before the right towing vehicle is acquired before
“This is what we have been doing since 1952. Nothing has changed and our modus operandi regarding the towing of vehicles hasn’t changed.
“Unless we have state of the art equipment on varying capacity and modes,” he suggested.
In the absence of these new equipment he said the police will do their best under very difficult situation to get the job done.
He urged government to provide the necessary logistics for them to do a good job.