On Saturday October 7, 2007, the Police Traffic Department in Region 2 started a traffic campaign which resulted in about 120 vehicles being impounded for various traffic offences, some of them minor.
Most of the vehicles were hire cars and mini buses. It was good to see these campaigns in the entire country, because they serve as a deterrent to those drivers and road users who are prone to breaking the law.
On the other hand it is difficult to understand why a hire car driver whose hand brakes or indicator is not working should have his vehicle impounded for the better part of three days, when many other courses of action can be adopted, for example issue a ticket, send on bail to attend court, and warn of prosecution by way of summons.
In the case of Region 2 this campaign started on Saturday, a day when all of us would know that the certifying officer would be on weekend leave and would not be certifying vehicles (Saturday/ Sunday) unless in emergency cases.
So it is reasonable to assume that the intentions were to deprive the owners of these vehicles the use of them for three days and I think that is ridiculous.
While we all should be concerned about lives that are lost unnecessarily on our roads, we must also be concerned about the drivers who have a monthly instalment to pay for their vehicles and are trying hard to make an honest living.
We are surely not going to foster a good relationship with the public which is vital in keeping accidents off our roads, and in solving crime.
About a month or so ago it was good news for everybody especially the people in Region 2 when the police had arrested some suspects alleged to have committed a serious crime. I called the Commander and commended him because it was good police work and what makes it more heartening is that the commander was part of the arresting party.
While we may never be able to stop accidents on our roads we can surely keep same to a low level by:-
1. Increasing the years of driving experience needed to obtain a hire car or mini bus licence.
2. Increase the existing fines.
3. Have a best driver’s award competition in the regions for different categories of vehicles.
4. Regular meetings between the mini buses/hire car associations and the Police Traffic Department.
Archie W Cordis