Service providers in the vehicle towing business across the country are clamoring for the implementation of the towing levy.
According to them, it is only the implementation of the towing levy that will ensure that equity prevails in their industry.
At a stakeholders meeting in Accra on Wednesday, September 7, 2017, the towing service providers pleaded to the government to lift the suspension on the implementation of the towing levy. In attendance of the meeting were Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, and the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid.
They want a new regime where the tow levy originally proposed in the Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (L.I.2180) be slashed down drastically to suit the demands of Ghanaians, believing that will calm tempers and ensure that peace prevails in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of Day & Night Towing Services, Thomas Isaac Boateng, interacting with Kumasi-based Abusua FM on Friday, said almost all the towing service providers in the country are incurring losses as a result of non-payment on the part of vehicle owners.
“The simple and short of the whole thing is that when I wake up in morning, I will patrol the road network from Kumasi to Techiman to tow breakdown or disabled vehicles and send it to the nearest Police Station. When you go there you have to introduce yourself to the Police Officer there that this is the work that the National Road Safety Commission has given to me. Immediately after introducing yourself, the Officer will tell you that we are aware of this arrangement. After packing the car in the Police yard for about four or five days, you go there the next day and to your surprise there wouldn’t be any vehicle there. When you inquire from the Police Officer and demand for your money, they will tell you that they are not aware of the one who came for the broken down vehicle.
“I have over 80 cars parked in my yard with some as old as four years, yet the owners are not coming for them. So, how do I pay my workers? We prefer the towing levy because the vehicle owners will pay at a designated point when going to renew their vehicle licensing documents at the DVLA and the government will in turn pay us based on the work done,” he noted.
Ghana is on the verge of implementing the Road Traffic Regulation, 2012 (L.I.2180) where motorists are required to pay a mandatory towing levy to cover the cost of towing services of disbanded and or broken down vehicles from the various road networks across the country.
But the implementation of the policy has met stiff opposition from a cross section of the general public, compelling the government to suspend it indefinitely.
Although, critics have wholeheartedly embraced the policy, they nonetheless believe that there are some issues which if not addressed will not give consumers value for money.
For instance, the Executive Secretary of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), Duncan Amoah, says there currently exist very good road safety laws which when enforced will lead to much safer roads for all and that simply imposing a mandatory levy on all vehicle owners cannot be the solution to the carnage on the roads.
But the vehicle towing service providers still believe the it is only the implementation of the towing levy that will save their business from collapsing.
“The Senior Minister told us that the government prefers tow-as-you pay. That the service providers will first tow the disabled vehicle for the owners to pay them later but we told him that we have passed that era because in 2007 to 2009, the National Road Safety Commission brought that issue up. They zoned the whole country into seven where all the towing companies were assigned with one of these zones. It didn’t help us. It is only the mandatory towing levy that will help us,” Mr. Boateng argued.