General News Wed, 8 May 2019
The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service plans to use a variety of technology and communication tools to regulate the unapproved use of sirens.According to the MTTD, the physical monitoring of such unlawful activities is gradually becoming impossible due to the nature of the usage.
Road users complain that the illegal use of sirens poses a huge risk to them.
Some have also said it undermines the collective fight against noise pollution with many criticizing the police for failing to arrest offending drivers.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, head of education, research, and training at the MTTD of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Alex Obeng, indicated that the new move is to among other things halt the indiscriminate use of sirens.
“This is the reason we are advocating that very soon we are going to deploy ICT devices which have the capacity to assist us. Over the period, we had relied on physical examination and detection. We are moving away from that to ICT. So very soon we will enhance enforcement of automation.”
“Even without this automation, we are able to do our bit. Physically we are able to determine a lot of them [offenders] when they are approaching. That is why some of them slip through. Under these circumstances, we try as much as possible to detect and apprehend some. There is a lot of difficulty with this enforcement but we make efforts including periodic releases, admonishing and deployment on the roads,” he added.
Last year, the Inspector General of Police, David Asante Apeatu, announced a partnership with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority(DVLA) to clamp down on people who use sirens unlawfully.
According to the IGP, the abuse of sirens has become a concern for most road users and the public has been advised to report such incidents for immediate action.
He noted that the move is necessary to deal with the chaos caused by these defiant road users.
He noted that the abuse of sirens encourages road users to neglect road safety rules which threaten the safety of road users.
What the law says
All law enforcers have been advised to take measures to punish offenders.
Offenders of the regulation are liable to a fine of not more than 25 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days or both.
In April 2017, the Ghana Police Service gave an ultimatum to persons who have unlawfully installed sirens in their vehicles to dismantle them or face the law.
According to the service, it has noted the unauthorized use of sirens and horns by some motorists in the country.
A statement by the Police Service said only specific state vehicles, ambulance, bullion vans among others, are expected to have and use the sirens and horns.
It warned that institutions that have also installed and are using the sirens and horns must cease the practice or face prosecution.