The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), David Asante-Apeatu, has directed personnel of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) to arrest any driver who uses siren without authorization.
At a press conference jointly organized by the police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to address the growing misuse of sirens by certain individuals and institutions in the country, the IGP ordered the immediate implementation of the directive.
He said the illegal use of siren poses a huge risk to unsuspecting road users and negatively affects the collective fight against noise pollution.
“Sirens ordinarily should be alarm signals to herald vehicles on emergency missions.
“They are also meant to clear the way for a limited number of very important government dignitaries, who, because of security concerns and official duty imperatives, should not be constrained in vehicular traffic.”
However, Mr Asante-Apeatu posited that several other public and private office holders and individuals illegally mount sirens on their vehicles to aid their movement, thereby bringing serious discomfort to other motorists and pedestrians.
He noted that in cases where offenders do not have sirens, horns are constantly blown in traffic much to the annoyance of other road users.
Mr Asante-Apeatu revealed that Regulation 74 of the Road Traffic Regulations 2012 clearly states that vehicles mandated to have or use sirens include government vehicles used for official purposes by the head of state, police, fire service, ambulance service for hospital or clinic, registered government security agencies and bullion vans registered by the DVLA.
Citing an instance, he reiterated that adherence to basic road safety rules are grossly neglected, thereby compromising road decorum and courtesy.
According to him, statistics available indicate that over 500 lives are lost in road crashes every quarter through reckless driving.
“The DVLA is improving on its vehicle roadworthiness checks and driver licensing regime to ensure that only those qualified to drive are issued licences and only those vehicles which pass road worthy tests are permitted to operate on our roads.”
He said MTTD would complement this effort by increasing roadside checks and ensuring that recklessness and lack of adherence to posts, speed limits and other regulations become a thing of the past.
“We are also aware through our collective research that some criminals take advantage of the inadequate enforcement of this provision to either avoid being in traffic or to outwit security personnel when transporting illicit substances.”
He said any person, who contravenes this regulation, commits an offence and is liable to summary conviction to a fine not more than 25 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days or both.
The Chief Executive Officer of DVLA, Akwasi Agyeman Busia, on his part, said the use sirens without authorization is a serious illegality.
He said the DVLA would continue to collaborate with the police to ensure sanity on the road and that road uses are not exposed to danger.
The commanding officer of the Central Motor Traffic and Transport Unit, ACP Anderson Ofosu Ackaah, also mentioned that 25 siren abusers were apprehended by his unit over the weelend.
“Out of the number, nine of them were arraigned before court and fined a total of GH¢8,000.”
“We have also introduced video cameras usage on our roads to avoid disagreements and doubts and so drivers must just comply with the law and together, we would make our roads and its users safe.”