ROSAG threatens legal suit against DVLA, STC … Over licensing of Daewoo customised buses without safety requirements
Road Safety Advocates Ghana (RoSAG) has declared its intention to seek a legal forum to address its concern on the intended licensing of 100 customised Daewoo buses imported by the State Transport Company Limited (STC) without safety requirements.
In a reminder dated July 21, 2020 to the Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), as a follow up to a similar one of June 30, 2020, RoSAG noted that the STC had taken delivery of 100 DAEWOO buses from the Port of Tema.
The Executive Director of RoSAG, Nana Annor Amihere II, said 99 of the said buses were parked safely at the Atlas Customs Bonded Port, situated at the Tema Oil Refinery thereabouts, as at 8pm on Friday, June 26, this year.
The group contended that it had taken a physical inspection of the buses, and was convinced that they (buses) do not meet the requirements of Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, particularly, Regulation 134 (1) (j) (k) (l) & (m) of LI 2180, hence, RoSAGs intention to go to court should the DVLA register the said buses without the safety requirements.
Following that, RoSAG reminded the DVLA to the “unwholesomeness” of the said products (buses), and a probable contemptuous act if it (DVLA) should register the said buses in their current state.
RoSAGs observed that the needless causalities in the recent accidents at Ekumfi, Komenda junction, Kintampo, and Kyebi among others, which involved high occupancy buses such as the newly-imported buses in contention, could have been mitigated if the DVLA had ensured that the buses in question complied with the laid down safety requirements, as provided for by the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012.
Earlier in February 2019, Mr. Osei Kwabena, a Road Safety Advocate and member of RoSAG, had, on learning of the STC’s intention of acquiring100 Daewoo customised coaches at a cost of $17.5 million from China to boost its fleet and expand operations to the West Africa Sub-region, prompted the Managing Director of STC to ensure that the intended fleet meets all safety requirements, per the provisions in Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, LI 2180, particularly, subsections (i), (j), (k), (l) and (m) of Regulation134.
Sub section (i) of the Road Regulation provided that a motor vehicle “has at least two entrances for passengers, one of which may be an emergency exit, as approved by the Licensing Authority,” while subsection (j) provided that “at least one of the entrances for passengers is sixty centimetres or more in width, and where there is no exit at the rear of the vehicle, there is an emergency exit on the left side of the motor vehicle.”
Other provisions of Regulation 134 of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, LI 2180 are: “(k) an entrance or exit, other than an emergency exit, is on the right side or rear side of the motor vehicle; (l) “the motor vehicle has an emergency exit which is fitted with a door which is kept closed except in an emergency and an entrance or exit door which is capable of being opened by one operation of the locking mechanism and is designed in a manner that enables it to readily open in case of need from both the inside and the outside of the vehicle” and (m) “the riser of the steps at the entrance or exit of the motor vehicle is closed and the maximum height from the ground of the lowest step is fifty centimeters.”
Mr. Osei Kwabena indicated that his concerns regarding safety requirements of the buses are premised on the provisions of Article 41 (b) and 15(1) of the1992 Constitution, which states “to uphold and defend this Constitution and the law,” and “the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable” for which provisions he dragged the STC to court when the STC “inadvertently” imported some Scania buses which lacked safety requirements into our beloved country when a substantive case was pending before the court.
He noted that even though the court upheld STC’s submission then, and subsequently adopted as the ruling of the High Court (Human Rights Division), the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority (DVLA) is effectively disabled, effective July 2018, from effecting the registration on any such bus/buses which does not meet the said safety requirements which is backed by law.
The DVLA has, therefore, been reminded of the need to be guided by the overall interest of all Ghanaians, especially the commuting public and the Laws of Ghana, of which LI 2180 forms part, to ensure that the said buses conform to the provisions of Regulation 134 of the Road Traffic Regulations, 2012, LI 2180.
The concerns of RoSAG have been communicated to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Minister of Transport, the Attorney General, the Chief Director at the Ministry of Transport, the Director General, National Road Safety Authority.
The attention of the Commissioner of the National Insurance Commission, the Director of National Security, the Managing Director of State Transport Company Limited and media houses were also drawn to the concerns of RoSAG, per copies of correspondence and reminders.