COPEC to government: Automate toll collection now

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    The Executive Secretary of COPEC says the move will ensure that the government receives the appropriate revenues from tollbooths across the country.

    The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has proposed to the government to urgently move from manual to electronic toll collections to reduce traffic and have assured revenue.

    The Chamber said employing electronic tolls collection system would halt the occasional thievery cases, reduce the pressure at the tollbooth and save commuters from inhaling carbon emissions.

    Duncan Amoah, executive secretary of COPEC, speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said under the new move vehicle owners could be billed upfront and given an electronic sticker that had toll access.

    “With the electronic system, we are proposing that an estimated amount is given to vehicle owners as part of their roadworthiness. That is a better way than a driver stopping at the booth removing money and waiting for change, which wastes so much time,” he noted.

    “By doing this, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) will account for the proceeds to the government instead of the current system where the government will not have to wait for sales from the toll operators. No one can steal from the toll funds again and the government will get the money it needs,” he said.

    Amoah said the proposal, which had been sent to the transport and finance ministries respectively, was urging the government to change all the toll booths from manual to electronic and leave one manual booth as an option for those who refused to pay upfront.

    “When the traffic builds up at that single manual booth lane, it will be their choice. It will not be convenient and they will finally adapt to the change,” he said.

    Amoah stated that with the proposed electronic system, which was seamless would be easy for the government to implement toll increment and give the Finance Ministry the room to plan what to do with the revenue.

    “I do not see that the traffic at the toll booths is justified. The majority of the population should be allowed to prepay to reduce the stress and remove the human element.