The Head of Regulations, Inspections and Compliance of the NSRA, Kwame Koduah Atuahene

The Head of Regulations, Inspections and Compliance at the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), Kwame Koduah Atuahene, is advocating for a change in the penalty for driving without licence.

According to him, many Ghanaians are emboldened to drive on the road without the appropriate licence or none at all, because the punishment for doing so, is not deterrent enough.

“For me, I think that the punishment regime is too mild, given the impact of the offence. The road is a very risky environment, and we cannot assume that you have the licence, or you have been licenced to drive and yet you don’t have the licence with you,” Mr Atuahene told Joseph Ackah Blay on ‘The Law’ on JoyNews.

Under the Road Traffic Act, 2004 (Act 683), any offence relating to licence attracts a fine of not less than fifty penalty units and not exceeding one hundred penalty units or a term of imprison­ment not exceeding two years or both.

However, Mr Atuahene believes introducing stiffer punishment will deter people from driving without their licence.

He explained that the Licensing Authority has found the need to classify various licences on account of the complexity that comes with the various classes of vehicles.

“Thus, it is unsafe for people with no expertise in driving a particular vehicle to go ahead and do so,” Mr Atuahene added.

However, “if you are unlicenced to drive a Class B vehicle and yet with a Class B vehicle you appear to be on the road, I think that it is such a concern that it must impose a very deterring punishment.”

“[With] Fifty penalty units up to 100 penalty units, I do not think it is deterring enough and that to my mind, is why a lot more people find encouragement to run the risk, come on the road to drive without these requirements,” he said.

He added that someone who brings a major risk vehicle onto the road, and does not handle it properly, or have the necessary competencies for that particular class of vehicles, may cause an accident which may lead to loss of life and damage to property.