The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers and some transport operators in the country say they will resist the mandatory towing fee to be charged on vehicle owners effective July this year.
Under a National Towing Project, vehicle owners will pay a mandatory towing fee during the registration of their vehicles or renewal of roadworthy certificates at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority.
The move is to ensure prompt removal of broken down vehicles from the roads, which officials say, contributes 25 per cent of total road accidents in the country.
Owners of motorcylce will pay GHC10 per year, cars with engines capacity less than 2,000CC (less than 2.0) will pay GHC40, buses and passenger commercial vehicles will pay GHC80 while articulated trucks will pay between GHC80 and GHC100 yearly.
But the Chamber in a statement Wednesday said it has joined forces with the Ghana Truck Operators Association, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the General Transport and Petroleum Workers Union and other notable organisations to resist the payment.
The Chamber said they will “will fiercely resist any such extortionist attempts to force such insensitive charges down the throats of vehicle owners and by extension the general public without a thorough and proper review of same instead of this current proposed wholesale approach”.
It pointed out that the National Road Safety Commission can only apply such fees only upon approval by the parliament of Ghana.
Read the full statement issued by the Chamber
REVIEW OR HALT PROPOSED FLAT TOWING CHARGES IMMEDIATELY
The chamber takes a very serious notice of an announcement of a proposed programme by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC ) to slap a flat charge on all vehicle owners across the country effective 1st of July 2017.
Per this new programme; The various categories of vehicle owners are expected to cough up some additional monies whenever they are registering a new car or go for road worthy renewal from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
The new programme puts a charge of Ghc20 on all private vehicle owners, Ghc40 on commercial vehicles and taxis, motorbikes will pay Ghc10, mini buses will pay Ghc80 whiles trucks are charged between Ghc80-200 depending on tonnage.
These charges for an initial concept might seem ignoble and paltry but will sure become a further burden on the operations and cost of commercial transport owners who will invariably pass same unto the commuting public to pay in the not too distant future.
In effect though its applicable on paper to only vehicle owners, the entire population who depend on public and commercial transport systems for their daily activities will end up paying for same.
Whiles admitting abandoned vehicles on our roads pose a huge risk and challenge which sometimes result in fatal accidents, one would expect that these vehicle owners and their drivers who engage in such practices be surcharged for the towing of same, the new programme is seeking to rather punish everyone for the apparent negligence of these reckless few who abandon their vehicles anywhere anytime.
As is mainly the practice in most parts of the world, sanctions do apply strictly to such persons who abandon their vehicles in the middle of the road but the reverse seems the case the case with this new policy.
The structure of this new extortionist policy certainly attempts to cure the symptoms rather than the substantive issue. Sanctions to those specific road users who do not take any time or resources to to maintenance on their vehicles thereby leading to such rampant breakdowns of these vehicles is rather subtly being shifted to the public to bear.
With over 2 million vehicles in Ghana currently, this new policy whose yearly collections is expected to be over and above Ghc100 million is simply going to serve as a cash cow for those behind this and not necessarily cure the problem of having some reckless drivers abandon their vehicles in the middle of the road.
We are by this serving notice, that the chamber together with the Ghana Truck Operators Association, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), the General Transport and Petroleum Workers Union and other notable organisations will fiercely resist any such extortionist attempts to force such insensitive charges down the throats of vehicle owners and by extension the general public without a thorough and proper review of same instead of this current proposed wholesale approach.
We also use this opportunity to remind the National Road Safety Commission it can only apply such taxes only with due approval by the parliament of Ghana.