Why motorists are paying mandatory ‘towing fee’ from July
Beginning July 1, vehicle owners will be required to pay a mandatory road safety fee each time they renew their road worthy certificate at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
Commercial vehicles and taxis will pay GH¢40, mini buses will pay GH¢80, while heavy duty trucks will pay between GH¢80 and GH¢200 annually, depending on their tonnage.
Non-commercial vehicles are expected to pay GH¢20.
Motorbikes owners will pay GH¢10 annually.
Some 118 trucks have been acquired by Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL), the private company contracted by the NRSC for the national towing service.
Why the new charges
The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) explains that new directive follows the successful completion of modalities and contractual arrangements with RSMCL to implement a nationwide towing service to clear all abandoned vehicles on Ghana’s roads.
The charges are also to provide a reliable towing service so that when vehicles are abandoned on the road the NRSC can ensure that they are swiftly towed. Many road accidents have been caused by speeding vehicles crashing into stationary vehicles.
The new ‘towing fees’ are also partly in response to public concerns about the lack of the government to roll out an effective towing service that would remove all broken-down vehicles on the highways.
Some road users have said some motorists abandon their vehicles dangerously on the road because of a lack of a reliable towing service, leading to accidents.
Head of Communications at NRSC, Kwame Attuahene, wants the public to support the initiative to promote safety on the country’s roads, promising “quality service”.
“The technical expertise has been met and what we need is for the public to support this cost-effective way of handling it,” he told the media.
There have been concerns over why the NRSC have decided to make the payment mandatory.
Some have suggested that drivers and owners of broken down vehicles should be levied on the spot to pay for the service, instead of making the fee mandatory for every vehicle.
It is estimated that road crashes due to abandoned vehicles on the road accounted for 21 percent of deaths through road accident in 2016.
According to the NRSC, road accidents alone cost Ghana 1.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually.
Also, almost 60 percent of crash victims are within the productive bracket of 18 and 55 years, a situation which impacts the Ghanaian economy negatively.
Also, about 2,000 people die every year from road accidents.