Former Independent Presidential candidate, Joseph Osei-Yeboah (JOY), says even though Ghanaians were concerned about the spate of accidents and the loss of lives which were caused by breakdown of vehicles on the roads, asking vehicle owners to pay up-front levies for breakdown vehicles to be towed was not the best way.
Sharing his views with the media on the proposal for vehicle owners to pay levies before their broken-down vehicles would be towed, he said breaking down of vehicles was unpredictable and it had to be covered by insurance.
“What we are looking for is an expeditious way of taking the danger from our roads. It is an insurance issue and we must use insurance principles to solve the problem,” he argued.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to engage the insurance companies in discussions for a system to be put in place for the insurance companies to handle fees paid for towing of vehicles which break-down on the roads to minimise road accidents.
He said in order to ensure that the system worked effectively, there should be sanity, accountability and monitoring of the companies which would engage in the towing of such vehicles, and that such a system should be decentralised.
According to him, insurance was taken to cover unforeseeable situations and that in the event of a breakdown of vehicles, insurance companies should be made to pay for the cost of the service rendered in towing the vehicle to safety and/or a garage to ensure effective maintenance, test, examination and roadworthiness of vehicles as a way to avoid frequent break-downs and for safety on the roads.
He said an expeditious way of taking the danger posed by breakdown vehicles off the road would be the reliance on insurance companies instead of imposing up-front levies.
Mr. Osei-Yeboah said reliance on the principle of insurance companies handling towing of breakdown vehicles off the road would relieve vehicle owners of the burden of having to rely on towing companies which might not respond to calls for services of individuals they were not familiar with.
He, therefore, called for a passionate discussion with all stakeholders to come up with a blueprint that would clear all doubts and grey areas for the insurance companies to take up the task for safety, sanity, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency in the handling of breakdown vehicles on the roads.
He also said that when it came to the issuance of roadworthy certificates, people who were maintaining their vehicles should be motivated to continue to do so as against those who did not maintain their vehicles and experienced frequent breakdowns.
The implementation of the towing levy has since been postponed due to concerns raised by vehicle owners and public reaction against it.
…with Kofi Owusu Tawiah (firstname.lastname@example.org)