DVLA clamps down on dishonest vehicle owners
Two hundred and eighty-three vehicles have been impounded for using fake registration numbers in a joint exercise by officials of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Ghana Police Service.
The task force also intercepted 71 vehicles with expired roadworthy stickers with 14 others using fake stickers. The Greater Accra Regional Licensing Officer of the DVLA, Mr. Abraham Tetteh, who disclosed this to the Times in Accra Tuesday, said the action followed reports that some vehicle owners were flouting the law.
He said DVLA engineers and the police undertook the exercise between July 21 and October 20 this year. Mr Tetteh said the authorities had also detected that vehicle owners flout laid-down procedures to convert a vehicle from private use to commercial and vice versa by circumventing the process.
The procedure is that to convert a private vehicle into commercial use, the owner only has to notify the DVLA for the documents covering the vehicles including the number plate for it to be changed.
Mr Tetteh said 41 private vehicles had been impounded for not complying with the procedure in the conversion process. He explained that white number plates are for private vehicles, red for diplomatic vehicles while yellow are meant for commercial, “but the situation now is that, some vehicle owners convert their number plates from private to commercial without changing the records at the DVLA”
Mr Tetteh said the defaulting vehicles owners were subsequently handed over to the police for prosecution for allegedly taking the laws into their hands by not notifying the DVLA. He said in the case of private cars, the colours of the vehicles are also changed from their original colours to taxis.
Mr Tetteh said in that exercise most of the vehicles intercepted were private vehicles some of them not even painted.
“The right thing to be done was for the owners of the vehicles to notify the DVLA of the conversion so that we can facilitate the changing of the documents,” he said. Mr Tetteh explained that in such conversions, every document covering the vehicle have to be looked at to ascertain if they matched the chassis numbers and other features on the vehicle.
He said sometimes information embossed on the vehicles, in terms of the addresses are not correct, thereby posing problem for occupants in times of unforeseen circumstances such as accidents.
He said 42 drivers were also arrested for driving under weight vehicles, 31 for using tainted glasses and II without driving licences.
Throwing more light on the under weight vehicles, Mr. Tetteh said in some instances prospective drivers are given specific classes of licenses which allow them to drive a particular class of vehicle depending on the number of years or experience of the driver but in the case of the 42 people arrested, they were caught driving vehicles that their licences did permit them to drive.
Mr Tetteh said some of them also have had their licences altered, with some tearing apart or have been fidgeted with some figures or words missing.
He said 157 drivers were arrested for either using worn-out tyres or other vehicular defects, while 154 of the vehicles intercepted were rickety. Seventeen drivers were arrested for exhaust fumes and two arrested for using plastic windscreen instead of glass.
He said that because some drivers do not use the approved means to acquire their driving licences they sometimes do not even follow up to the premises of the Authority to collect the documents covering the vehicles.
On his part, the Chief Executive of the Authority, Mr. Justice M.Y. Amegashie, described the situation as worrisome and appealed to vehicle owners to acquire the right documents for their vehicles including driving licenses.
According to Mr. Amegashie, it pays to acquire things though the right process rather than resorting to ‘goro boys’ and noted that because some of the drivers or owners do not acquire the proper document or license from the DVLA offices, they fear to have such documents changed if they expired, and expressed the determination of the Authority to clean the system. Mr. Amegashie said the DVLA has embarked on that exercise purposely to help save the lives of people.