General News of 2014-01-05

Mad rush for 2014 registration numbers

The unusually large number of vehicles at the DVLA office was as a result of the desire of most people who bought their vehicles mostly in the last quarter of 2013 to lincence their vehicles in 2014.

The situation got so chaotic that police officers had to stand in to control traffic flow at the usually quiet street leading to the DVLA offices.

On the first working day of the year on Thursday and Friday, the cars massed up on the car parks of the police barracks nearby as DVLA authorities hustled for space to accommodate the large turnout.

To control the situation, officials of the DVLA closed their gates and allowed 50 vehicles into their premises at a time. Additionally, 250 vehicles have been scheduled for registration each day to reduce the stress that comes with the exercise.

During this time of the year, many new car owners prefer unique car numbers or car licence plates with numbers that end with 14- (coined from 2014), hence they wait till the end of the year to register their vehicles.

“A car with registration number say GR 1-14 or GR 111-14 will make my plate stand out,” Mr John Kusi, an applicant, said. He had bought a Toyota Corolla in October last year but waited to register it this year.

Other car owners also said the rush for the registration and renewal of their documents was for them to avoid a brush with the law.

Complaints

Some applicants, who spoke with the Daily Graphic expressed displeasure with the slow pace of the exercise.

“I came around 5am to register my car. The process is boring. The queue they asked us to join is also not moving,” Mr Issahaku Andani told the Daily Graphic. He said his interest was not the new plate because he bought his vehicle in the last week of December.

“He blamed the slow nature of the process on the fact that there was only one customs officer checking the documents of vehicles. They should have a lot of staff working on the registration process because at this time, there is always a lot of pressure,” he added.

The Head of Public Relations of the DVLA, Mr Kwaku Darko Aferi, agreed that the process was slow but maintained, “you can’t ignore certain things and go ahead to issue the number plate. We have to be sure that the vehicles we are registering are road-worthy. It is important to ensure that once we give the owners the chance to be on our roads, they are not going to compromise safety. We have seen how chaotic the process becomes at this time, that is why we are not allowing all the vehicles in like that,” he added.

Commendation

Mr Ben Adu, who had completed the registration formalities, told the Daily Graphic that even though the process was cumbersome, there was significant improvement from the past.

“There is some form of order and coordination now, unlike in the past when the whole place is usually chaotic.”

According to the DVLA figures, in the first quarter of last year, the Greater Accra Region registered the highest number of new vehicles, 26,212, in Accra, Tema and Weija.

The DVLA office in Accra recorded 12,237; Tema 8,141 and Weija 5,834.

The number of vehicles registered for the whole country increased from 41,828 in 2012 to 49,537, representing an 18 per cent increase in vehicles between January and April.

The numbers also mean more business for the middlemen, popularly known as ‘goro boys’, who take advantage of the system to make money from desperate applicants.

The “goro boys” were all over at the entrance, harassing drivers and car owners to assist them to go through the registration and renewal of their documents easily.

In that respect, the Deputy Director of Security of the DVLA, Mr Emmanuel Moncar, urged the public to be cautious of people who approached them at the DVLA offices to help speed up the process for a fee.

“They should look for the DVLA staff. We all have our ID cards. We have tags. Any other person you find inside is here for registration and not a DVLA staff. We advise that you deal with DVLA staff wearing tags,” he concluded.

Source: graphic.com.gh
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