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Opinions Sun, 16 Aug 2015

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Setting up more DVLA offices will reduce fake documents

There have been occasional swoops by law enforcement agents on fake roadworthy-certificated vehicles these past few months.

While we sympathise with some of the victims of the swoops, most of who suffer untold inconveniences at the hands of the cops unknowing that the documents they wield are fake, we do not have tears for the others who know what they went into.

In the case of the former, although the law has no place for ignorance, we nonetheless think that having been fooled by crooks into believing that their documents were genuine, these persons deserve some education and pardon. This class of motorists dread the time-wasting sessions at the examination points. The latter, on the other hand, deliberately fell for the below-the-official fees offered by crooks or goro boys as they are called in the industry.

The faking of vehicle documents is as old as the introduction of the documentary identification of cars and trucks in the country.

The business has never been as lucrative as in recent times. The business used to be limited largely to driver and then quarter licences. In both cases, however, vehicle owners seek to avoid paying the full fees for the various categories of documents, or hiding some deficiencies which could disqualify them from acquiring the authorising permit.

It is necessary to find out why motorists patronise the black market document industry instead of the official channels.

A lot of inconveniences are associated with the acquisition of genuine documents for vehicles – something which motorists want to avoid and for which reason they resort to the black market.

The avoidance of inconveniences by motorists is the reason why goro boys cannot be eliminated from the corridors of vehicle processing offices across the country, even after much sabre-rattling by the relevant authorities.

The roadworthiness certificate and the driver licences remain the most abused in the vehicle documentation regime.

Both have witnessed, in recent times, attempts by officialdom to tighten the nooses around their acquisition – the outcome still negative. The occasional operations by the police are to check the fake documents.

For the purpose of our commentary, we shall limit the discussion to the roadworthiness certificate: because of the limited number of private outlets authorised to examine and issue genuine licences, there is pressure on the few available setups.

Some motorists spend as many as five or six hours at such places. This has informed the decision of some to proceed to other places outside Accra just so they can be processed.

For those who are unable to cope with the stress of driving outside Accra in the face of spending almost half a day at the examination points, they make do eventually with the goro boys who have perfected the roadworthiness documents but not enough to evade the scanners in the possession of law enforcement agents on the fake documentation detection operation.

We ask that the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) open up more outlets so that motorists can turn their backs on the fake documents industry.

We also ask that adequate education is given motorists to understand that unless their vehicles go through the procedure at the designated outlets, they cannot have genuine roadworthiness certificates.

Columnist: Daily Guide

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