Regulatory policy

DVLA to implement policy on mandatory seat belts in commercial vehicles

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has announced that from next year all commercial passenger vehicles will have to comply with the mandatory seat belt policy.

DVLA Deputy Managing Director Prince Opoku Adusei, speaking in Koforidua on Thursday, November 10, 2022, at the opening ceremony of the DVLA Accident and Traffic Control Officers and Technical Engineers Training, said that the authority had successfully passed the approval section for implementation and is currently awaiting final approval from the Ministry of Finance for the policy to be implemented in 2023.

“DVLA has successfully passed the approval section for the implementation of seat belts in commercial vehicles. [We are] pending final authorization from the Ministry of Finance to proceed with the procurement process. »

“Very soon, hopefully next year, we will come back to you to find a way to ensure the proper implementation of this very important policy. This particularly affects vehicles that come in the form of vans, which are converted into passenger vehicles,” Mr. Opoku Adusei said.

The mandatory seat belt policy is expected to result in a 50% reduction in fatalities and serious injuries associated with road crashes by 2020.

An attempt to implement the policy in September 2014 was met with fierce resistance from commercial vehicle operators.

DVLA then announced that it was not going to register new vehicles intended for public passenger service which were not fitted with seat belts at every seat.

The authority has also planned not to renew the technical control of utility vehicles that are not equipped with seat belts at each seat.

Article 119 of the Road Traffic Regulation Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180 adopted by Parliament in 2012, emphasizes the use of seat belts in all vehicles.

Meanwhile, the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) says available statistics indicate it has recorded a margin of decrease in road fatalities in the Eastern Region.

Between January and October this year, a total of 325 deaths were recorded out of 1,177 accidents, compared to 357 deaths recorded during the same period last year.

The margin of decrease in deaths according to the NRSA is attributed to the impact of vigorous education and the Stay Alive campaign it has undertaken with the MTTD, DVLA, National Ambulance, Red Cross and Service National Fire Department.

In an interview with the media on the sidelines of a training program for accident/traffic enforcement officers and DVLA technicians, the National Road Safety Authority Eastern Regional Director, Dennis Yirebu, said the authority will strengthen its collaboration with various stakeholders to further reduce fatalities in the coming years.