17 Nov 2011

American Samoa bus operators ask for end to driver seat belt law

7:22 pm on 17 November 2011

Bus owners in American Samoa have called on the Commerce Commission to change the seat belt law to exempt bus drivers from buckling up.

The law has been in place for more than 20 years but never enforced.

Bus owners say the law should be changed because buses are built locally and it would impossible to install the belts.

One bus owner says he's driven buses for the government for thirty years and making drivers wear seatbelts doesn't make sense.

"You cannot put the seatbelt up front just in case of drunk drivers or whatever. It might be hazard for the driver because the passengers they might use that as a weapon to strangle or choke the driver because it's so close to his neck."

The government plans to make it compulsory for bus drivers to wear seats from the first of January next year but bus passengers and taxi drivers are exempt.