A public servant, Mr. Kwabena Osei, has filed a suit at the Human Rights Court seeking an interim order to prevent the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) from registering a fleet of buses that have been imported into the country by the State Transport Company (STC).
Mr Osei already has a case before the court in which he has sued the DVLA and 10 others, namely, STC, VIP, the Ghana Private Road the Transport Union, O & A Transport, the Metro Mass Transit, J. A. Plant Pool, the Progressive Transport Owners Association, Mariset Company Ltd (M-Plaza), the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General.
That suit essentially faults the DVLA for registering vehicles without emergency exit doors, in contravention of the law, and also the Police Service for failing to enforce the law on the use of vehicles without emergency exit doors.
The Human Rights Court, presided over by Mr. Justice Anthony Yeboah, had set Monday, June 27, 2016, to give the ruling on the writ filed by the plaintiff, but in a statement of claim accompanying the writ, Mr. Osei had averred that while that case was ongoing, he, on Sunday, June 5, 2016, followed a convoy of newly imported branded Intercity STC buses coming out of the Tema Harbour.
He said a closer examination of the said buses revealed that they had constructional defects in that they did not have emergency exit doors, contrary to the law.
It was his contention that the buses were to be registered and issued with both vehicle registration certificates and examination certificates by the DVLA, so that they could be used on the country’s roads for hire, in spite of the defects.
“I am advised and believe same to be true that the absence of at least two entrances on the said buses poses a grave and present danger to the safety and security of the travelling public and are inimical to the public interest,” he averred.
He claimed that it was against the background of impunity and indifference to the safety of the travelling public that the DVLA and the STC ought to be restrained from registering and putting the said buses on the road until the defects were efficiently corrected and the buses made safe for carrying passengers.
In the substantive case, Mr. Osei is seeking an order requiring the DVLA to examine all new and existing passenger-carrying vehicles and refuse to register and license any vehicle that did not conform to the prescribed requirements.
He is also seeking an order to ensure that motor vehicles did not pose a danger to safety in relation to their entrance and exit for passengers.
He is praying the court to order the police to strictly enforce the provisions of the law relating to the construction of passenger-carrying vehicles and to arrest, detain and prosecute all vehicle operators and passengers who flout the law.