NIC leverages technology to enforce insurance compliance … deploys Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) on roads

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Seth Eshun, Head of Supervision at the NIC,
Head of Supervision at the NIC, Seth Eshun

As part of measures to enforce motor insurance compliance and safeguard vehicle users, the National Insurance Commission (NIC) will be deploying Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) on the roads to check fake insurance and non-insured vehicles plying the streets.

The ANPR has the ability to automatically recognise number plates of motor vehicles when read from an image provided by video surveillance cameras for the purpose of further processing by a security system.

The move is to complement the NIC’s efforts to ensure that all vehicles registered by the DVLA buy the compulsory insurance cover for themselves or any person in the vehicle, should there be an accident. The introduction of a Motor Insurance Database (MID) will help facilitate the process, as all vehicles which obtained genuine insurance since January 2020 have been put into one database for easy scrutiny by the ANPR.

“One of the main stakeholders we have when it comes to motor insurance is DVLA. They have a database of all the cars that are supposed to be in Ghana and we have a database of all the cars that are insured. If we have a system that we can share information, every week or every two weeks we could compare the data sets; and based on that we can come up with the cars that have been either registered or have roadworthy certificates but have not been insured, and through that we can either send text messages, emails or letters to people about the fact that they don’t have insurance.

“The automatic number plate recognition is just an addition on that, by which we will be saying that you were actually driving at this time – and you were driving without insurance, because we were able to see your car on the road at this time and we have evidence to prove it. So, it is the same as me standing by the road and taking the number plates of all the cars that come and run them through the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to know if you have insurance or not.

“The reason we need to do this together with the DVLA is that if the car is on the road with no insurance, we would have no records of the car in the MID but the DVLA would have it; and we would use the contact details from DVLA in order to send a text, email or letter and get people to insure their cars,” Head of Supervision at the NIC, Seth Eshun, told the B&FT in an interview.

Since January 2020, about 507,000 motor insurance stickers have been electronically issued since introduction of the Motor Insurance Database (MID) policy; this follows an earlier 272,000 stickers issued electronically in May of this year to curb fake insurance stickers plying the roads.

“Currently, we have over 507,000 electronically issued stickers so far, and with everything being equal we expect something around the region of a million by end of this year. So, that means there’s still scope for us to improve. The key thing we seek to do is collaborate a lot more with the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DLVA); and we believe that if we collaborate with them and the police, then we can ensure most vehicles on the roads are insured.”

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