The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is to begin electronic vehicle registration this month to help transform the way vehicles are registered and set new benchmarks in the sector, the Chief Executive Officer of the DVLA, Mr Kwasi Agyeman Busia, has announced.
He indicated that when the project was fully deployed and optimised, a vehicle could be registered within an hour.
Mr Busia, who was speaking at the inauguration of a new DVLA office in Wenchi in the Brong-Ahafo Region shortly before the Christmas holidays, said the authority was also partnering the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement national standards on vehicle emission.
That, according to him, was necessary to reduce air pollution, ill health and other respiratory problems and protect the environment.
Over the years, vehicle and motorbike owners, as well as drivers, in the Brong Ahafo Region had to travel to Kintampo, Techiman or Sunyani for any of the services to be rendered to them.
Mr Busia said work had begun on the construction of the Wenchi private vehicle testing station and was expected to be launched in July 2019, explaining that the project, comprising a DVLA office and a testing station, would eventually provide the municipality with a complete package for licensing drivers and vehicles.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Transport, Mr Kweku Ofori Asiamah, expressed concern about the carnage on the roads, disclosing that 2,118 people lost their lives through road accidents between January and November 2018, while 12,318 sustained injuries and 2,918 pedestrians were knocked down across the country.
Mr Asiamah said 3,549 out of the people who lost their lives did so as a result of motorcycle accidents and entreated road users to obey road safety regulations and signs to help reduce the rate of road accidents and their associated effects on families and properties.
“The statistics from the National Road Safety Commission, to me, are frightening and I entreat all, including pedestrians, to safeguard their lives as they walk along and cross the roads,” he advised.
Mr Asiamah charged the various transport unions to ensure that drivers did not take in alcohol, tramadol or any substance which would influence their driving before setting off on a journey.
Mr Asiamah admonished managers of the new facility to ensure its regular maintenance and the availability of services to clients.
For his part, the Board Chairman of the DVLA, Mr Frank Davies, said the authority had been reformed to enable customers to procure their licences in less than 30 minutes for those who apply for prestige service, two weeks for premium service and four weeks for regular service.
He said the DVLA had, accordingly, posted the price list of its services at public places to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in its operations.
Mr Davies urged the DVLA staff to be more receptive to clients, eschew laziness and lateness to work and other vices which had the propensity of tarnishing the image of the authority.