Four hundred and seventy six vehicles have been impounded over the abuse of the use of defective vehicle (DV) and drive-from-port (DP) number plates.
The drivers of the unlicensed vehicles have also been arrested.
The number of vehicles impounded so far since the first special operation to check the abuse of DV and DP number plates in December 2014 is 818.
The use of DV and DP plates beyond 7 p.m. is prohibited by law.
In a swoop organised simultaneously by divisional commands under the Accra Regional Police Command, policemen stopped vehicles with DV and DP number plates and inspected the documents covering them.
Worry over DV case
The Accra Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Christian Tetteh Yohuno, said the operation took place on January 3, 2015.
He explained that the objective of embarking on the unannounced operation was to help reduce the misuse of DV and DP number plates in the region.
Mr Yohuno, who expressed worry about the increasing number of vehicles with DV number plates in the country, stated that those vehicles were used in many of the criminal activities recorded in the region.
“DV licence plates are given to vehicles that are under repairs temporarily, but some drivers abuse it and end up using the cars for a long period of time,” he said.
He explained that the use of DV and DP number plates had a limited period and the number of persons they could take.
He said the use of vehicles with DV number plates had become fashionable, especially at weddings, funerals, church activities, among other occasions, but indicated that the practice was against road traffic regulations.
Mr Yohuno stated that in accordance with the Road Traffic Act (2004), a trade licence could be used when a motor vehicle had been offloaded from a ship and was being driven to the garage.
The unlicensed number plate could also be used when a vehicle was being tested or tried by a prospective buyer.
“The use of a trade licence for any journey not related to the business of testing or transporting to the dealer or fleet owner’s place of business is prohibited,” he said.
Additionally, he said, driving the car outside the business hours of between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. was also an offence.
He recalled that in an earlier operation carried out in December 2014, 342 vehicles with DV and DP number plates were impounded.
In all, 142 vehicles were seized by the Nima Divisional Police, while the Dansoman Police impounded 56 vehicles.
The Ministries Divisional Police impounded 57 vehicles, the Tesano Police seized 106, while the Kaneshie Police impounded 81.
The rest were: Madina 132, Central Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) 34, Accra Region 17, and Kpeshie Division 98.
Objective of operation
According to Mr Yohuno, the operation was to send notice to people who abused the use of DV and DP number plates because “if care is not taken by impounding the vehicles, we will soon have all vehicle owners driving around with DV or DP number plates and they will continue to abuse the use of such number plates”.