The recent spate of road crashes has become a major concern for many Ghanaians as the rate of deaths and injuries have assumed an alarming rate with over 1,034 deaths recorded in the first four months of 2021. This has led to many stakeholders finding ways and means to minimize the canker and for adequate compensation to be paid to victims in such events.
It is on the heels of this that the Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission (NIC), Dr. Justice Ofori has revealed that an additional consignment of 400 Gota phones had been donated to the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service. This brings to the number a total of 900 Gota phones meant for checking the validity of motor insurance stickers on vehicles with the view to protecting lives and property.
Personnel of the MTTD have already begun an aggressive campaign to clamp down on vehicles with fake and invalid insurance policy stickers after they had been trained on the use of the devices during a nationwide series of Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops organized by the NIC held across the country.
According to Dr. Ofori, there ar/e many vehicles plying our roads without any form of motor insurance, while some others which appear to be covered have fake or invalid policy stickers.
“Some vehicle owners, and / or their drivers are carrying with them fake insurance policies in violation of the law. While some may be ignorant of the modus operandi of some miscreants in society perpetrating this phenomenon, some others consciously purchase these fake insurance policies from some unscrupulous persons just because they are cheaper”, he bemoaned.
This trend, he indicated puts the lives of motorists, passengers, and pedestrians at risk as there is no compensation for victims of accidents involving vehicles with fake or uninsured insurances.
The Commissioner made these remarks to mark the end of the nationwide training workshops on how to use the GoTa phones which also coincided with the donation of the additional batch of 400 pieces of the devices expected to aid in checking the validity of the motor insurance policies.
Dr. Ofori revealed that feedback following the aftermath of the training sessions were encouraging as the MTTD personnel has already started using the devices for the intended purpose on our roads.
“What the introduction of the mobile devices by the NIC also means is that the MTTD officers will depend solely on what is immediately visible. With the aid of the mobile devices, they can scan the insurance policy sticker and in real time, a message will indicate whether the insurance is valid or otherwise,” Dr. Ofori intimated.
He used the opportunity to admonish motorists and vehicle owners to purchase insurance policies from insurance companies licensed by the National Insurance Commission or their agents and expect to receive instant text messages upon payment of their premiums.
The Commissioner also admonished persons traveling on commercial vehicles, to dial *920*57# on their mobile phones to check the validity of the vehicles they intend to board in their own interest since no compensation awaits any passenger or road user in the event of any accident involving any such vehicles.
On his part, the Director-General of the Police MTTD, Commissioner of Police (COP) Mr. Adu Anim, commended the NIC for its continuous support to the national cause stating that the deployment of this technology is already making the work of the MTTD much easier especially for accident-related investigations. This is because the devices are linked to a national digital platform which creates an opportunity for data collection and analyses by all the stakeholders involved in ensuring road safety and traffic law enforcement in the country.