They mentioned that jaywalkers can be held accountable and liable when it is verified the accident occurred at a spot from exactly where they had been not supposed to cross the roads.
“Jaywalking is a concern and people need to be careful. Pedestrians should use pavements and they should not cross roads where there are no pedestrian crossings. It is always best to be safe and follow guidelines,” an ROP official mentioned.
Eng Ali Ahmed al Barwani, a road security professional and member of the Oman Road Safety Association, mentioned roads in Muscat are often busy, with several pedestrians crossing from exactly where they are not supposed to do so, or walking on roads even when footpaths are accessible. “The issue is that jaywalking is increasing. This is something that needs to be highlighted widely and investigated why pedestrians cross roads from non-marked points.”
Eng Barwani mentioned that most of the pedestrians consist of households with youngsters, youth groups and workers. “They are seen on roads around malls, restaurants, as well as on main roads attempting to go to the other side to catch a taxi, for example.”
He mentioned that there are several factors that folks indulge in such habits. “The top one is that there is no legal action taken against jaywalkers in Oman. Although, jaywalking is not considered illegal in many countries, there are guidelines that mandate pedestrians to cross roads the right way. This is important to be included in Oman’s traffic laws, which will contribute in eliminating such unsafe behaviour.”
He added that infrastructure for pedestrians wants a lot more improvements in Oman. “There is a need to add more points to cross roads as well as safer walking areas. It is also important to have more awareness campaigns in various languages to curb jaywalking. I urge pedestrians at all times to look for safe points to cross the road.”
On the other hand, motorists need to be cautious whilst commuting. “Drivers need to be vigilant during the summer season which is also vacation time for many schools. There are many pedestrians on roads especially children who are sometimes not easy to notice. I urge drivers to exercise caution in parking areas such as at malls and stay alert while driving.”
Information Source: Muscat Daily