Alice Nimako Debrah Ablormeti, a lawyer at Robert Smith Law Group, has shed light on the rank of police officers who have the authority to seize driver's licences.
According to her, only policemen above the rank of an inspector are permitted to seize a driver's licence, provided they provide a receipt for the seizure.
This revelation was made by the lawyer during a discussion on Prime Morning about the rights of drivers in traffic offences. She clarified, “It is not every policeman that can seize your licence. Every policeman can inspect your licence and give you 24 hours to produce it if you don't have it. But when it comes to seizing the licence, it has to be a policeman who is not below the rank of an inspector.”
In instances where a lower-ranking policeman seizes a licence, the affected individual is entitled to take legal action in court to have the licence returned, rather than engaging in a confrontation with the policeman.
She has called on policymakers to adopt a comprehensive approach to ensuring the safety of road users, with the aim of reducing offences and fatalities on the road.
The legal practitioner has urged drivers to make an effort to familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations pertaining to road usage and driving, in order to be able to assert their rights.
Meanwhile, Regulation 47 (1–5) of Road Traffic Regulation 2012 (L I 2180) mandates all drivers to carry their original driver's licence while operating any vehicle.
“A police officer in uniform shall request a person to produce the driver's licence that authorizes a driver to drive a vehicle for inspection. Where a person driving a vehicle is required to produce a driver's licence, that person shall produce it immediately or within 24 hours upon the request of the police.”
Therefore, drivers have the right to report the misconduct of a uniformed officer to the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPBS) of the Ghana Police Service. The report should include the officer's number and rank as displayed on their uniform.
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