MP leads campaign on seat-belt

…As she marks one year survival of accident              

In an attempt to reduce the fatality on road crashes, Hon. Felicia Adjei, Member of Parliament for Kintampo South Constituency in the Bring Ahafo Region, is leading a strong campaign through parliament to ensure drivers, as well as teenagers and children wear car seat belts.

According to the MP, no nation is immune to road accidents, hence the need to change people’s attitudes and beliefs towards seat belts as a precursor to minimise the carnage on our roads.

The incidences of road accidents in Ghana increase day in and day out, despite the massive education that has gone around by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and the Driver Vehicles and Licensing Authority (DVLA).

The habit of wearing or fastening of seat belt helps reduce casualties on serious accidents. But in Ghana, one wonders whether all passengers and motorists are aware of the seat belt legislation, and why some motorists, despite being aware of this important legislation and the consequences of not complying, go ahead and travel in vehicles without “buckling up.”

Hon. Felicia Adjei, in a passionate statement on the floor of Parliament last Friday, called for strict compliance of the use of seat belt by both private and commercial drivers.

“Mr. Speaker, seat belts are specially designed to secure and protect occupants of a vehicle against any harm during vehicular accidents. Seat belts, which are also known as safety belts, ensure the safety of occupants of a vehicle,” she stated.

Reminding parliament of her own experience, having survived a serious accident a year ago, the Kintampo legislator underscored the need for strict implementation of traffic regulations and the arrest of offending drivers, while encouraging them to ensure they fasten their seat belts at all times.

Ms Adjei expressed the fear for drivers who drive without seat belt, stating, “Mr. Speaker, exactly a year ago, I was involved in a near-fatal car accident, which would have claimed my life, had it not been that I had fastened my seat belt. That explains why my passion and continuous encouragement of others to use seat belts anytime on-board a vehicle.”

She told The Republic that several studies show that seat belts save lives and reduce injuries and we need to change the culture of seat belts and road safety behaviour to save life.

Statistically, 11,378 road crashes or accidents recorded in 2016 involving 17,746 vehicles, 12,154 causalities, out of which 1,990 died and 10,164 injuries, NRSC 2016 reports revealed.

But Ms Adjei said most of them could have been prevented if the victims had on seat belts.

The Road Traffic Regulation Legislative Instrument (LI 2180,) which was passed by parliament in 2012, lays emphasis on the use of seat belts.

Section 119 (1) of the Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180., states: “A person shall not drive a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is fitted with a seatbelt.”

The Kintampo South lawmaker said, despite the fact that the Road Traffic Law (LI 2180) and other road regulations of Ghana make non- wearing of seat belt a punishable offence, most occupant of vehicles are still adamant.

“Beyond obeying the law, let us consider our precious lives, as well. So I am appealing to all drivers and passengers for both private and commercial vehicles to simply do the right thing,” she pleaded, adding “Buckle up and save your life.”

She expressed optimism that wearing seat belts could save lives and prevent or minimise injury to occupants of vehicles and therefore entreated all stakeholders, including members of parliament, police service, religious leaders, transport unions, the media and all concerned members of the general public to lead the campaign on the need to wear seat belts.

Studies show that seat belts save lives and reduce injuries, but many experts believe that people don’t wear seat belts because they don’t understand how important they are.

She therefore called for the need as a country to change people’s attitudes and beliefs towards seat belts as a precursor to changing their behaviour.


Source: Engsalige Nyaaba

The Republic News Online

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