Police Cannot Enforce New Seat Belt Law- Commercial Drivers

Commercial drivers say the police cannot enforce a new law which makes wearing of seat belts mandatory. According to the drivers, majority of policemen own commercial vehicles which are without seat belts and it will be hypocritical on their part to enforce the law. Per Section 119 (1) of the Legislative Instrument passed in 2012, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle unless it is fitted with seat belt. The law is to help deal with the high rate of road accidents in the country. It is expected to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in deaths and serious injuries associated with vehicular accidents by 2020. The law was expected to take effect two years after it was passed. The two year grace period was to ensure that vehicle owners will take steps to have seat belts fitted in their vehicles and also for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to stop the registration of new vehicles without seat belts. Two years after the law was passed, drivers are still resisting the implementation of the law. They told Joy News they need at least one more year grace period. Worse still, they say the police men who are supposed to implement the new law, themselves own many of the commercial vehicles which are without seat belts. They have therefore called on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority to provide not only the seat belts but the workshops where they are supposed to fit the seat belts in their vehicles. Meanwhile, Head of Research at the Police Motor Traffic Transport Department (MTTD), DSP Alex Obeng says his outfit is putting mechanism in place to ensure that all vehicles are fitted with seat belts. He said irrespective of who owns the vehicle, the law would be respected.