From October next month, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) will team up with the Ghana Association of Garages to fix defective seat belts in vehicles across the country.
The Greater Accra Regional Manager of the DVLA, Mr Noah T. Martey, disclosed to The Mirror that the designated garages would start fixing seatbelts which were imported by the DVLA in existing old vehicles.
It would be recalled that the law, which was passed in 2O12 by Parliament, is being enforced by DVLA as of September 1, this year. The Road Traffic Regulation, 2O12, (L.I 218O Regulation 119 and 12O) provides for the use and fitting of seat belts in every vehicle.
Since September this year, the Greater Accra Regional Office of the DVLA had registered 613 vehicles. Sixty out of the number were made up of buses out of which 34 with seat belts were registered while 26 were rejected.
Mr Martey explained that the 26 vehicles which were rejected, six of them had seat belts but were worn out and poorly fixed while the other 20 did not have any at all.
Mr Martey said interestingly, some of the drivers who wanted to outsmart the authority and had used nails and other things to hook the belts to the seats were found out upon thorough scrutiny.
"We tried pulling some of them and the belts fell apart.
This means when a driver applies the brake the belts would come off on their own. They were therefore, taught how to get them fixed accurately before they will be registered", he explained.
According to him, every passenger must have a seat belt and this is to further check overloading of passengers by commercial vehicles.
The seat belt policy entailed two phases. The first phase covers vehicles that must be fitted with seat belts before they are registered while the second phase, which will begin in March 2015, will be for vehicles that have already been registered and are operating in the country.
Interestingly, it was reported that some residents in Sekondi-Takoradi had vowed to resist the enforcement of the Road Traffic Regulation that mandates every motor vehicle to be fitted with seat belts.
Mr Martey described their stance as unfortunate as the severity of injuries in case of accidents were reduced drastically when seat belts were worn.
Source: Daily Graphic
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