Sunday, 20 Oct 2019 | 21 Safar 1441
‘Rear seat belt enforcement must’

‘Rear seat belt enforcement must’

In 2018, there had been two,454 road accidents major to 619 fatalities and two,836 injuries.

Eng Ali Ahmed al Barwani, member of Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA), stated the law was a defining moment in creating the sultanate’s roads safer but sadly drivers and passengers do not abide by it. “Passengers in rear seats neither abide by the law to fasten belt nor motorists insist on it. There is also less enthusiasm to use car seats for children below four years. I believe that law enforcement is a must to create a noticeable change.”

Eng Barwani recommended that authorities ought to publish figures of such offenders on a month-to-month basis. “If we publish the recorded traffic fines in these two categories, it will help in spreading awareness and contribute to enhancing road safety.”

Jeremy Fox, manager – Training Services and contract manager for PDO Defensive Driving and Safe Journey Management Training, Technical and Administrative Training Institute, stated, “The proof is extremely clear: seatbelts, youngster restraints and child seats save lives. The authorities recognised this extremely clearly when the Oman Traffic Law was amended in 2018 to add the mandatory measures necessary to restrain babies and kids in a car.

“As an ex-UK police site visitors officer, I have attended to numerous road accidents and observed at very first-hand how the use of correct youngster restraints and infant vehicle seats stop death and injury. This is why I’m so concerned to see so numerous drivers on the roads of the sultanate ignoring the law – and in carrying out so, putting their kids at unnecessary danger.

“I’ve been in Oman for the past ten years and am pleased to see more and more drivers and front-seat passengers wearing seatbelts. However, I also regularly see young children jumping around in vehicles unrestrained. The risk of death and injury is high even at relatively lower speeds. I would, therefore, strongly advise that drivers obey the law, and, in so doing, greatly reduce the risk of tragedy entering their lives.”

In a fast survey, nine out of ten passengers that Muscat Daily
 spoke to stated they do not fasten their seat belts although 5 out of ten stated they do not safe their kids in vehicle seats.

A road user who wished to stay anonymous stated that the law is there but there is lack of awareness about it.

“Seriously, many of us don’t buckle up in rear seats. Also, very few use child restraints. Even I am not concerned unless I am driving in Dubai because there is strict enforcement unlike in Oman. The same policy needs to be adopted in Oman.”

Hamida al Adhubi, an Omani admitted that she by no means puts on the belt when in rear seat.

“I think we need more awareness on the subject. Many like me believe it is not that dangerous to travel without the belt in the rear seat compared to front seat passengers,” Hamida stated.

“Also, since Omanis have big families, it is difficult to buckle up if more than four passengers are in the car,” she added.

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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