The Greater Accra Regional Minister-designate, Henry Quartey has said he will deal with political elites and other persons who abuse sirens and strobe lights in the capital city.
There is a growing trend in Ghana where drivers especially SUV owners use sirens to weave through traffic, causing public nuisance in the process and also enjoying unmerited advantage over other road users.
Answering questions during his vetting on Monday, March 1, 2021, Mr. Quartey told Parliament’s Appointments Committee that, if he is given the nod, he will tackle the menace head-on.
“What I am about to say will not be nice in the ears of [my] colleagues (MPs). The abuse of sirens. When given the nod, I would ensure that the abuse of sirens and blue lights are minimized. This is an innovation I want to bring to the region,” he said.
Citi TV‘s War Against Indiscipline in 2019 helped to expose persons who engage in such activities.
The Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service on May 11, 2019, served notice that it will arrest and prosecute road users who abuse the use of sirens.
According to the MTTD, the law allows only specific vehicles including ambulances, presidential convoys and police vehicles to use sirens.
The Accra Central MTTD Commander, Ofosu Ackah, at the time, told Citi News that this outfit is bent on clamping down on such activities.
“First and foremost, it is against the laws of this country. Occasionally when you are involved in an accident, how are you going to defend yourself that you were using a siren to beat traffic? Because you cannot use your own car to beat traffic. There are other road users, pedestrians, kids crossing the road to school and if you run into any of them, you would kill them. When we get you we will not arrest you as a Member of Parliament, we will arrest the driver who is abusing the law.”
What the law says
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.
A statement issued by the Police Service at the time 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.