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Seatbelts are compulsory for bus drivers

The Superintendent of Motor Vehicles has for years been passing buses without seatbelts for the driver and co-driver despite a ministerial decree that made it compulsory for their installation.

The decree had been published on 5 September 2013 issue of the Government Gazette.

The issue was raised following the tragic accident on Thursday when a Nicosia city bus (OSEL) crashed into four cars in an attempt to avoid hitting another car, resulting in the death of 60-year-old bus driver Sofronis Mylonas and injuring another ten.

Traffic Chief, Yiannakis Charalambous, in statements to the media said that Mylonas would have survived the crash he had been wearing a seatbelt.

Charalambous said that according to the law regarding road safety, all motor vehicles, including buses should have driver and co-driver seats fitted with seat belts. He went on to say that any buses and trucks registered at the Road Transport Department after 28 December 2007, had to be fitted with seatbelts.

It seems that the Department either through an incorrect interpretation of the law or else wise was passing the buses through their inspection without requiring OSEL to install seatbelts for their drivers.

A spokesman for OSEL, announced on Friday, that the particular bus had just past its roadworthiness inspection and no mention had been made about the lack of seatbelts. In fact, since the bus had first been put into service in 2010, no official notification had been given that it was required to be fitted with seatbelts.

The Road Transport  Department has in the meanwhile given instructions that busses should now be fitted with seat belts but has otherwise failed to make any comments relating to the issue.

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