MTTD to enforce the Road Law from July next year…but drivers say it will not work

Source: Ghana||Ivy Benson

Date: 05-11-2013 Time: 05:11:31:pm

The MTTD has insisted it will not back down on its plans to enforce the legislation that requires commercial buses to provide seat belts for use by passengers once the law takes full effect from July 2014.

Speaking to JOY FM’s Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah, the Director of Training and Research of the Department, DSP Alex Kwaku Obeng, noted that there would be no excuses once the legislation takes full effect.

According to him, owners of commercial buses have two years to provide seat belts in their vehicles for passengers.

“With regards to road safety, there are no excuses. We all have a common rule of engagement call the road law that all of us are supposed to be knowledgeable in it. And it is clear that if you have a vehicle that carries passengers, you have two years to provide them”, DSP Obeng stressed.

Until July 2014, when the law takes full effect, the lives of thousands of Ghanaians, who patronize public transport would remain in danger.

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With a few months to the enforcement of Regulation 119 of L.I. 2180, which requires “trotros” to have seatbelts for their passengers, most of the drivers said they were not ready to comply with the law.

JOYNEWS’ reporter Kwakye Afreh-Nuamah, who sat in a commercial vehicle from Achimota to Pokuase in the Ga West Municipality, reported that none of the passengers in the bus had a seat belt on with the exception of the driver as there are no available seat belts  with the exception of the driver.

Available statistics at the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) indicates that 20.7% of road fatalities involve bus occupants with commercial buses dominating.

Regulation 119 of LI 2180, passed by Parliament in 2010 requires all vehicle owners to provide seat belts for passengers.

Some passengers who spoke to JOYNEWS, supported the legislation believing it will reduce fatalities in cases of accidents in the country.

However, most of the “trotro” drivers who spoke to JOYNEWS think the regulation is not necessary.

One commercial bus driver  noted; It was not important because this is Africa. He said it would not be prudent for trotro drivers that ply short distances to provide seat belts for passengers.

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Another driver said the measure was an effective way of reducing road accidents in the country.

Obviously not ready to comply with the regulation, the drivers called on government to provide special vehicles with seat belts attached as an alternative idea to enhance the enforcement of the legislation.