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Govt Told To Ban Cars Without Emergency Doors
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The importance of a vibrant transportation system to the development of countries including Ghana cannot be overemphasized.

The number of vehicles on our roads has increased in the last five years compelling stakeholders to implement road expansion projects, which have not adequately addressed the unwinding traffic situation in the country.

This has culminated in an unbearable vehicular traffic situation especially in the capital, and it is because of such unbearable traffic situation and other factors that the ‘trotro,’ a local term for commercial vehicles, has become the preferred means of transport for many people, including some private car owners who resort to trotros to rapidly commute through the capital city.

These commercial vehicles do not have any emergency exit with staircase on the rear to help passengers get out of it quickly and safely in an unlikely event of accident.

In addition to the entry door, all commercial vehicles must have at least one emergency exit door, which should be kept closed in normal condition and passengers should be trained on how to operate it.

However, since many cars lack this facility, anytime they are involved in accidents, their doors are often locked. The only way passengers can escape is to break the glass windows of the cars.

It is against this background that some well-meaning Ghanaians are calling on the government to introduce a policy that will prevent individuals and firms from importing commercial vehicles that have no emergency doors at the rear into the country.

They are also calling on the Driver’s and Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) to stop registering commercial vehicles that have no emergency doors at the rear.

“If all long routes vehicles are to have emergency doors, it will help passengers to escape when accident occurs,” Israel Djokoto, an Auto Expert with over 10 years experience told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE in Accra yesterday.

He revealed that the regulators in the transport industry should monitor the condition of commercial vehicles while passengers demand better services by patronizing only vehicles which would enable free movement and safety in case of mishaps.

Mr Djokoto, Chief Executive of AMI Consult, called on DVLA and other stakeholders in the transport sector to embrace his suggestion in the right spirit, noting that safety of passengers is paramount.

“It may take time but there should not be any compromise. Permits of those not implementing the orders should be cancelled,” he said.

Contributing, Ernest Boateng, Retail Manager of Airtel Ghana, noted that most of the deaths recorded during motor accidents would have been minimized if the commercial vehicles plying Ghanaian routes had emergency doors in addition to entry ones.

“The time has come for us to create awareness about this. Every commercial vehicle should be made to have emergency exit. The driver and its attendants should be able to explain in some few minutes before the departure just like aircraft,” he advised.

Mr Boateng said some few commercial vehicles have the emergency exits but they are unscientifically fixed.

“If the emergency exits are not scientifically designed and fixed, it will not operate efficiently,” he explained.

A tour to some of the automobile companies in Accra revealed that most of the commercial vehicles they import have no emergency doors. The only commercial vehicle that passengers have easy access to emergency door exit is the Ford Transit Bus sold by Mechanical Lloyd Co Ltd.

An official from the National Road Safety Commission, who pleaded anonymity, told this paper that there is a policy in place to ensure that vehicles that lack the necessary safety measures such as emergency doors are not registered by the DVLA.

“So the question, we are asking is who is registering these vehicles,” he questioned, stating that there is the urgent need for all stakeholders in the transport industry to arrest the situation.

Efforts by this paper to get officials of the DVLA comment on the matter proved futile as they declined to talk after several attempts.

Source: Felix Dela Klutse

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