The Greater Accra Regional Office of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has refused to register three commercial vehicles for not having seatbelts for all the passengers they are allowed to carry.
The rejected vehicles were said to have only seatbelts for the drivers and the front passengers.
A new policy currently being implemented makes it mandatory for all vehicles to have the safety device.
The three imported vehicles were among 118 commercial and private vehicles that were sent to the DVLA office for registration between September 1 and 3, this year.
The Greater Accra Region Area Manager of the DVLA, Mr Noah T. Martey, who disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday said, ‘We refused to register those commercial cars in line with the government’s directive that all vehicles imported into the country must have seatbelts before they could be registered’.
Road Safety certificates
Mr Martey said the authority would continue to decline issuing road safety certificates to car dealers and operators who failed to abide by the new directive.
‘What the DVLA is implementing is meant to save lives and ensure sanity on our roads,’ he said, adding, however, that ‘we anticipate agitation from the various transport unions.’
The various transport unions have appealed to the authority to allow a period of grace prior to the enforcement of the seatbelt policy on the grounds that more education needed to be carried out for their members.
However, Mr Martey said, prior to implementing the new directive, the DVLA, in partnership with the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), carried out various sensitisation programmes for various transport operators.
Importation of seatbelts
On September 1, 2014, he said, the DVLA started implementing the policy in two phases.
‘The first phase covers vehicles that have not yet been registered and their owners are to provide seatbelts before having them registered,’ he said, and added that the second phase, which would begin in March 2015, was for vehicles that had already been registered and were operating in the country.
In Pursuant to the implementation, he said, the DVLA would import seatbelts and arrange with the Ghana Association of Garages to come up with names of selected garages to have their personnel trained in the fixing of seatbelts .
‘From October this year, those garages would start fixing seatbelts on old vehicles that are already operating in the system.
‘Hopefully by March 2015, all vehicles in the country will have seatbelts fixed on them by the garages that will be located across the country,’ Mr Martey said, and asked vehicle owners and operators to take their vehicles to those garages for seatbelts.
He warned that those who will flout the directive would not obtain road-worthy certificates.
‘Between September and March 2015, there is enough time for vehicle owners to abide by the directive and those who fail will be made to face the full rigours of the law,’ he added.
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