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Gov’t Engages Private Towing Operators   
 
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08-Sep-2017  
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Private towing operators are now to tow broken-down vehicles from the major highways under the direction of the government, after the intended mandatory towing levy has been scrapped.

All private towing operators have been consequently asked to register with the ministry of transport for the permission to operate under the new dispensation.

This would be an interim measure to keep the roads safe as immediate plans are in place for exhaustive stakeholder consultations by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) for the amendment of the Traffic and Road Safety Act to make it more relevant to the needs that are arising. It is also to ensure that road crashes resulting from abandoned broken-down vehicles on the roads are brought to the barest minimum.

The Ghana Police Service will be assisting in that direction.

These disclosures were made yesterday following a crucial meeting between the private towing operators and some government functionaries, including the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo; Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah and Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said it was time the towing services were ceded to the private sector because most countries in the world, including Cote d’Ivoire and Benin, have successfully and effectively been offering road towing services without government intervention and involvement.

Also at the meeting were officials of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) led by the Executive Director, May Obiri-Yeboah and the Director-General of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service, COP Maxwell Atingane.

It was not clear if the Road Safety Management Services Limited, operated by the Jospong Group of Companies, was also in attendance – having had its contract for the towing job abrogated.

The meeting was to seek the views of the towing operators on how to help make the roads free of abandoned vehicles as a lasting legal regime is being worked out to check the phenomenon.

At the meeting there were still divided opinions on whether the towing needs to be left solely to the private sector or the government should be involved in it.

A private operator based at Techiman in the Brong-Ahafo Region, Yaw Opoku Appiah-Anum, was very passionate about the lack of legal backing for private operators to be very effective in managing abandoned vehicles on the roads.

He said there should be a law that would empower private operators to tow abandoned vehicles even without the consent of owners and such owners made to pay the fine at all cost.

Some suggested that with the new interim arrangement the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies are made to pay for the services of the private operators instead of asking individual owners to foot such bills because in many instances, payment for services by operators becomes tug of war between vehicle owners and the operators.

COP Atingane said the police would continue to patrol the highways and if there are any such vehicles, inform any nearby towing company to tow them away.

Ms Obiri Yeboah told the meeting that within this month the commission would start its consultative meetings with stakeholders on the amendment of the Road Safety Act before it is finally submitted to the Ministry of Transport for action to be taken.

Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said the government was very concerned about the safety of the people that is why it is taking this step.

 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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