Beginning next year, speed limiters will be installed on all commercial vehicles from buses to heavy-duty trucks.
The categories of vehicles to be affected by the policy include all buses and coaches as well as all trucks and articulated trucks, once the vehicle weighs from 3.5 tonnes or above.
The National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) took the decision to fix speed limiters in those categories of vehicles to prevent speeding which has been identified as one of the major causes of road crashes.
The acting Director-General of the NRSA, David Osafo Adonteng, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic last Wednesday (September 14), said the speed limiter device would have a tapograph incorporated into it for proper checking of speeds by drivers and fatigue levels of the driver.
“The adoption of this technology means that the police can stop a commercial vehicle running long distance at any point in time of the journey and interrogate the device to see if the driver stopped on the way or not in accordance with the law,” he said.
Mr Adonteng stated that a roll out of the initiative would compel drivers to find means of breaking their drive period in accordance with the law, which says that one could not drive continuously for four hours without breaking.
The exercise was in compliance with Regulations 135(1) of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2180).
Regulations 135(1)(a) of L.I 2180 states: “A person who operates a commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of at least three and a half metric tonnes shall ensure that the vehicle is fitted with a speed limiter determined by the licensing authority in consultation with the NRSA.”
Mr Adonteng said the initiative would be phased, starting with new vehicles that the DVLA would be registering this year.
“We cannot just go on to roll out this project for all vehicles that are plying our roads.
We will start with those that are being registered fresh, such that it becomes a requirement for these group of vehicles which are 3.5 tonnes and above,” he said.
He added that the deployment of the speed limiters was a necessity because the log books system that was used currently had not been effective in terms of enforcement.
The NRSA Director-General said the authority would soon restrict commercial operations of mini buses to intra-city services or routes not exceeding (40) kilometre
He said the decision had become necessary because drivers of certain categories of long-distance vehicles, particularly Sprinters and Toyota Hylux, tended to drive speeding recklessly.
“If you meet them on the road, it looks as if they are aeroplanes. They drive like there are no rules and regulations on the road. They want to drive two hours to Kumasi, and it is scary.
“The Ministry of National Security has drawn our attention to this and we are monitoring them for the next few weeks. If they do not change their behaviour, we will take action against them,” he stressed.
Mr Adonteng said the NRSA had already engaged some transport operators such as 2M Express, OA, Transport Limited and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) on the issue with the hope of seeing attitudinal change.
“I want to use this medium to tell them again that we are monitoring and if things do not change, drastic action will be taken. If in a couple of weeks the trend did not change, the NRSA would give the Minister of Transport expert opinion to consider restricting the journey of these two groups to less than 40 kilometres,” he stressed.
He said that action would be taken because those categories of vehicles were causing a lot of damage on the roads and killing people.
With the Christmas season approaching, he said the NRSA saw the need to take stringent measures to prevent crashes associated with the festive period.