Monday, February 22, 2010

MTTU - Who they are and what they do...

The Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) is a division under the Ghana Police Service. It was formerly known as the Ghana Police Traffic Unit (GPTU) which is responsible for all road safety in the country.

The unit became part of the Ghana Police Service as far back as 1952.

The main difference between MTTU personnel and the Police Service personnel lies in their dresses/uniforms, tasks, turnouts and the use of flash lights. MTTU personnel do not use dangerous tools in their operations; however, its Modus Operandi (Mode of operation) differs from that of the Police service. MTTU personnel wear white caps / Tops.

The major duties of the MTTU are as follows:
* Educates the public about accident precautions.
* Trains personnel to arrest offending drivers.
* Meets stakeholders such as the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and Driver Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) to discuss issues on preventing carnage on our roads.
* It is responsible for compiling all accident statistics nationwide on quarterly bases which are later disseminated to the public through the media.
* Controls traffic
* Enforces Traffic regulations
* Opens traffic for the President and other dignitaries who visit the country.

MTTU also partakes in accident prevention with the use of four Es - Enactment of laws and traffic regulations, Education, Engineering in the construction of feeder and urban roads, Zebra crossing and provision of Emergency medical services.

Furthermore, MTTU initiates police accident investigations in collaboration with other road safety holders such as Driver Vehicle and License Authority (DVLA).

DVLA, which was formerly called Vehicle Education License Department (VELD), has the mandate to ensure that drivers are well trained, issue certificates and licenses to qualified drivers. MTTU collaborates with DVLA to form task force to arrest drivers with fake license as well as expired number plates, road worthy certificates, etc.

Both units work hand-in-hand to determine the cause of accident, be it a mechanical error or not. Cases are referred to DVLA for further investigations.

Both stakeholders educate drivers and the general public on motor issues.
There are about 1,300 MTTU Police Personnel nationwide. About 300 police personnel are currently working with the unit at its head quarters.

MTTU is a unit under the Police Service headed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP). However, the National Commander of MTTU is ACP Daniel Avorga. There are eleven Regional Commanders, 178 District Commanders and 630 Police Stations.

It is of interest that, the Police Service has Eleven Regions instead of ten. This is so because Tema is treated as a Region separate from Greater-Accra Region.

However, all Regional officers report to the Director at the headquarters. District officers report to Regional Commanders.

There are many divisions under MTTU. Some are: Traffic, Accident, Investigation, Training and Education Units. It organizes in-service training programmes for its personnel. This lasts between 2 and 3 years.

Records indicate that from January-September 09, the unit made about GH¢200,000 (¢2b old cedis) from court fines against offending road users. Some of them have been imprisoned to serve as deterrent to others.

Moreover, statistics from the unit indicates that, about 1,205 Ghanaians died through accidents from January to September last year. Most of the accidents were preventable. Additionally, 6,000 people were seriously injured, where about 12,000 properties were destroyed or damaged completely. Also, huge sum of money was lost through accidents.

The basic qualification for joining the Ghana Police Force is SHS Certificate with six passes including English and Maths. After the normal training at the Police training school, some are selected to join the MTTU.

The other major recruit demands are: - heights, physic (direct control) and intelligence.

MTTU is challenged with Inadequate:
* Enforcement equipment.
* Towing and recovering trucks for at least one per region.
* Accident logistics like hand gloves, blanket, etc for accident investigators.
* Traffic enforcement equipments like alcohol enforcement censor, flash lights, operational vehicles, accommodation for personnel and other educational equipment such as, digital camera.

MTTU is an agency under Ministry of Interior and is financed by the national and police budget. It enjoys financial support from philanthropists. The National Road Safety Commission supports by providing logistics.

The sterling qualities of MTTU personnel are the same with the Police Service. They are disciplined; provide good service, always alert and intelligent.

Children aspiring to join MTTU in future are advised to take their studies seriously and learn how to work with limited supervision.

MTTU trains Ghanaian drivers' right from the start to assist in minimizing the carnage on our roads where majority of casualties are the youth.

“We admonished that, you use the roads with caution. Remember to wear seat belts when you board a vehicle, if there is any. MTTU is a Service for Ghanaians and the future belongs to the children”, an officer advised.

People should not hesitate to report any driver found driving recklessly, carelessly or dangerously and drank. It is stipulated in the Road Traffic Act to arrest any driver found going contrary to the Act.

The roads Traffic Act - 683 of 2004, as amended by Act - 761 of 2008 with LI 952 and 953 of 1974 and Criminal Code Act - 29 of 1960 as well as the Ghana Highway Code of 1974 were created to sanction drivers who refuse to abide by these laws.

You may call the following emergency numbers to lodge any complaint:

MTN: 18008
VODAFONE: 080010800
KASAPA: 10800

MTTU Head office Line: 021-664206

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