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Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings & Ms Felicia Adjei

Ghana: Enforce law on seat belts – MPs advocate

Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings & Ms Felicia Adjei

Members of Parliament (MPs) have urged the police to enforce the law on the wearing of seat belts to ensure the safety of motorists.

This according to them would held prevents  deaths and severe injuries in road crashes in the country.

The MPs made this known during a contribution to a statement by the MP for Kintampo South, Ms Felicia Adjei,  on “The need to wear seat belts to save lives” on the floor of Parliament in Accra last Thursday.

She said Ghana, like most other countries, experienced a high number of road accidents and referred to the 2016 record, which showed that a total of 11,378 road crashes were recorded with 1,990 deaths and 10,164 injuries.

Ms Adjei said seat belts were designed to secure and protect occupants of a vehicle against any harm during vehicular accidents.

She said although the records did not show the number of occupants who failed to wear seat belts, “we cannot rule out the harm that can be caused when a vehicle’s occupants do not wear their seat belts.”

The legislator said she was involved in a near fatal car accident a year ago, which could have claimed her life if she had not fastened her seat belt.

Ms Adjei said despite the fact that the Road Traffic Act, 2004 (Act 683) and other laws of Ghana made non-wearing of seat belts a punishable offence, most occupants of vehicles were adamant.

She appealed to drivers and passengers of private and commercial vehicles to wear seat belts and called for a collaborative effort among political and religious authorities, transport unions and the media to promote the use of the seat belt.

Other contributions

The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, said the police were ready to enforce the new law on road traffic regulations.

He called for a bi-partisan support for the police to enforce the law to ensure sanity on the roads, including the wearing of seat belts.

Mr Osei-Owusu, who is a former Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), said the responsibility for ensuring the wearing of seat belts was that of drivers.

Surprisingly, he said, many of the drivers rather resisted the wearing of seat belts by passengers.

The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, stressed the need for the DVLA and other relevant state bodies to enforce the law on the use of seat belts.

He called for the training of drivers on road signs and traffic regulations since many of them lacked such knowledge.

The MP for Klottey Korley, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, proposed the imposition of spot fines on drivers who failed to fasten their seat belts.

Source: Musah Yahaya Jafaru / Graphic Online

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