The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has asked drivers and owners of commercial buses with one door and operating in the Upper East Region to create emergency exit routes for their vehicles.
According to the Authority, the directive must be complied with by end of May 2019.
The Upper East Regional Director of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, Abdulai Mutawakilu made the announcement at a meeting with the leadership of GPRTU, the Road Safety Commission and other stakeholders in Bolgatanga, as part of activities towards the search for ways to ensure maximum protection of passengers.
Many of the long commercial buses operating in the Upper East Region have one door which serves as entrance and exit for all passengers, and in the event of an accident passengers on board have had to struggle through the single door and the broken glasses in the windows.
According to Mr. Mutawakilu, this situation puts the lives of passengers in danger and increases the rate of fatalities in the event of an accident.
“We are meeting the leaders of the drivers and car owners, we will do more education on the need for the long buses to have two doors. It can be done and we expect all commercial buses to have two doors as the law prescribes,” he said.
“We have been monitoring these buses leaving Bolgatanga and entering Bolgatanga and many of them do not have emergency exits. We wanted to know if the buses travel with two drivers or not and we realized that many of the buses had one driver. It is clear that if we don’t enforce the law, people by themselves will not comply,” he added.
According to the DVLA Regional Director, there is a law in Ghana that mandates all long commercial buses to have a main door for entrance and exit and then an emergency door to aid easy escape in the event of an accident.
Surprisingly, all buses operating in the region have all been duly registered and have been declared road worthy by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority even though they do not have the required emergency exit doors.
Reacting to this situation, the DVLA said in the past some considerations were given, adding, “… it was a mistake that was done in the past, we have decided not to repeat that this year and the coming years.”