STMA Bylaws, and the use of public roads in Sekondi Takoradi
By: Ekua Stephens - Kyzzfmonline
July 13, 2023

On Tuesday, July 11, 2023, Kyzzfmonline interviewed some Metro Guards from the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) regarding the bylaws concerning the use of public roads in the area.

Chief Ernest Kodie Awuah, the head of Metro Guards, explained that the bylaws are created by assemblymen, stakeholders, and leaders in the Assembly, and the Metro Guards are responsible for enforcing these laws.

Chief Awuah mentioned that they often face challenges enforcing the bylaws, and some people even believe that the Metro Guards are the ones who came up with the laws.

Chief Ernest Kodie Awuah 

One of the challenging bylaws is related to repairing vehicles or motorcycles on public roads.

Chief Awuah cited an example from Kokompe, where the bad road conditions were fixed to benefit the workers and others using the road.

However, people still repair their vehicles on the road, leading to the towing of these vehicles to garages.

The bylaw clearly states that repairing a broken-down vehicle on a public road is prohibited, and any such vehicles will be towed to a garage.

Chief Awuah questioned whether auto mechanics should be exempt from this law if they turn the road into their personal repair space. He mentioned that when Metro Guards try to arrest defaulters, they often face complaints about being too strict and demanding fines for using the road for personal activities.

In response to the situation in Kokompe, Chief Awuah explained that the Metro Guards have visited the area several times to remind people about the bylaw. They have provided a week's notice for the removal of such vehicles from the road, giving the owners a chance to take them to their own garages or places of work.

However, if the issue persists, the Metro Guards tow the vehicles to clear the road. He emphasized that their job is not about scaring or taxing people but about ensuring the right things are done.

Regarding the washing of vehicles on public roads, Chief Awuah explained that it is prohibited.

Drivers or persons in charge of vehicles are required to wash their vehicles at fuel stations, garages, or licensed washing bays.

However, washing cars in residential areas within fenced houses or in non-public spaces is not considered an offense. Chief Awuah stated that washing cars on the road damages the asphalt and causes oil spill on the road, leading to its deterioration.

He highlighted the importance of educating the public about these regulations and urged them to change their attitudes for the betterment of the assembly.

Chief Awuah mentioned that the assembly does not have its own towing vehicles but has contracted Gold Street, a company responsible for towing cars that are being repaired on the roads. They also have access to road safety yellow-yellow towing cars bearing the police symbol when needed.

Another by-law Chief Awuah discussed is the requirement to appropriately cover trucks and other vehicles used for transporting materials such as sand, stones, quarry dust, etc. He mentioned that many people engaged in construction fail to cover their vehicles while transporting such materials, posing risks to other drivers on the road.

He emphasized that every conveyance in a vehicle must be covered to prevent materials from flying off, causing damage to other vehicles, or creating driving hazards.

Philip Annan, a Dispatch of Metro Guards, shared an example of a driver who was arrested because he had something to cover the truck but failed to use it appropriately. Some drivers only partially cover the materials, which is not acceptable.

Philip Annan - Dispatch

He stressed the need for compliance with the bylaw to avoid confrontations between Metro Guards and drivers.

Madam Mercy, the chief of Metro Guards in Takoradi Sub Metro, mentioned that they have been actively towing cars on the roads.

Chief Mercy

In June, they dragged many cars to their garage in Esikado, and people had to pay fines to retrieve their vehicles. She explained that this enforcement helps generate revenue for the assembly's developmental projects. The Sub-metro has announced that they will provide notices within three days to individuals before towing their cars if they fail to remove them from the road.

Chief Awuah concluded by discussing the bylaw related to unauthorized stations. He clarified that no person or group has the right to establish and operate a lorry park without prior approval from the assembly.

He mentioned that drivers often complain when they are arrested for creating their own stations, but the assembly's intention is to maintain order and prevent unregulated stations from popping up. He emphasized that Metro Guards are simply doing their jobs to ensure peace and stability in the nation.

Overall, the Metro Guards are responsible for enforcing the bylaws set by the STMA regarding the use of public roads. They encounter challenges but aim to educate the public and bring about positive change.