Road safety is fundamental to development since the high toll of deaths that occur due to fatal road accidents, causes a huge loss of human capital. Roads in Accra need to be upgraded to international standards. Most of the roads in the oldest parts of the city are congested and narrow. These roads were built earlier in the days when the population was still manageable. In the modern and wide streets, motorists drive at breakneck speeds, despite speed bumps as humps, speed cameras and road speed limit signs. Some of these drivers are so ignorant you would think they have never heard of DVLA road signs and meanings.
If the government would take some measures and make sure all the drivers are familiar with the road signs in Ghana, this would save so many lives of the people who perish through road accidents that could be avoided.
What is DVLA?
In Ghana the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) is a government agency in the nation that is accountable for the licensing and assessment of drivers and cars in the nation. The agency was established in 1999 by Act 569 of the parliament of Ghana. The act allowed the authority to have a semi-autonomous position in the public sector organization in the Ministry of Transport. The work of the authority is to ensure that all Ghanaian roads are safe.
If you’re not Ghanaian and want to drive in Ghana, you have to get your Ghanaian licence. To get the driver’s license you can use in Ghana you have to take the DVLA theory examination first! The DVLA road signs test tests offered here help you in training for it. An online summary of the Ghana Highway Code also exists, on which the test questions are derived. There are over 350 questions available!
The test includes 10 DVLA compliant multiple choice question. For you to be successful you are required to answer 9 questions correctly.
In Ghana, the law allows persons 18 years and older to drive. However, before trying to acquire your licence, a good idea is that whether you are a novice or non-resident driver you should put effort into understanding the road signs before you go to the licencing office.
Any individual can apply for a 3-month learner's license. After the learner's license expires, a written exam is taken of which the prospective driver must score 70% or more to succeed. After the written exam, the future driver takes a DVLA road signs test which involves identification and explanation of several road signs. If the road signs test is passed, the candidate sits for the last exam drive with an instructor from DVLA. A clean test drive will qualify the driver for a cover note, which is returned for the driver's license on a particular date.
In April 2008, the agency declared a 306,000 cedi online registration project that looked to rationalise the activities of the authority to permit it to offer resourceful services to its clients. The system is also efficient in abolishing the activities of brokers who hindered the operations of the agency. The online system started functioning operational in December 2008.
Accidents happen on our roads due to the lack of road worthiness of some of the vehicles on our roads. Some drivers fail to do routine and periodic checks on their vehicles. Besides, some of the commercial drivers overload the vehicles, exceeding the threshold carrying capacity of the manufacturers. We need to have very conspicuous DVLA road signs in Ghana. The Accra Metropolitan Authority is doing their best. However, road users such as pedestrians, vendors, hawkers, are the ones that pose challenges to them. Those selling in the streets frustrate traffic and also they mess the streets and drainage channels with plastic bags and all kinds of waste and disposables. Most roads do not even have pedestrian lanes and sidewalks. The problem could be due to poor planning, lack of space for such or the stretch of resources due to the population explosion. We need more street patrols by the traffic police and rigorous application of the Highway Code. Sometimes, bribery and corruption rears its ugly head and causes the law to be flouted with impunity by both motorists and pedestrians.
READ ALSO: DVLA written test booking in Ghana
DVLA road signs and meaning
It is about time we installed road signs and street names all over Accra to aid motorists and to boost tourism. Many avoidable accidents have occurred because of lack of adequate and precise road signs in the city.
Similar to other authorities, DVLA road signs and markings have clear and concise meanings. But do people really care? Interpretation of traffic signs is a bit more avaunt guard – a suggestion of what everyone else might do so that you can use the information to work out innovative and sometimes dangerous ways to finish the journey. Driving here can be quite exciting! The exception is in traffic jams, where everyone simply gives up.
Have a look at the montage of important signs below. An interpretation of DVLA road signs and markings is the image below: You can also click here for more road signs and their meaning
The Ghana Highway Authority has the final jurisdiction with a section on street signs. The real road signs and markings are found here. The civil engineers constructing roads in Ghana have a section on how to build speed humps that leave the suspension and sump in the car.
Ghana can be a frustrating place to drive. There can be severe psychological damage done to visitors who think it is unreasonable that a 160km drive takes 3.5 hours.
Drivers bare the blame for most accidents. However, accidents occur before you know it. The most efficient way to curb them is to understand the road signs and what they mean in Ghana.
READ ALSO: DVLA driving test questions and answers
Note that to drive on a foreign licence in Ghana, your country licence should be supported by an international drivers licence (IDL) as stipulated by the 1946 international agreement. You cannot drive for 3-6 months before converting your licence. It is an offence and might possibly attract court time and a fine, and can actually annul insurance. Also make sure that as a driver you obey and understand all DVLA road signs and names regardless of whether you are a foreigner or a citizen. Otherwise you might just have some nasty experience on the road.