Muscat: A national strategy, chalked out by the Royal Oman Police (ROP), on the traffic situation in Oman seems to be working with at least a 50 per cent decline in road accidents across the country in the first five months of this year, according to a senior ROP officer.
Addressing the State Council members, Brigadier Mohammad Bin Awadh Al Rowas, Director-General of Traffic at the ROP, said that the plans laid out by the traffic department were working to drastically reduce the number of accidents as well as road crash related injuries and deaths.
“A total of 1,730 road accidents were recorded with the police until May 25 this year compared to 3,417 during the same period last year,” he informed the State Council members, who are nominated to the council by Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed.
He pointed out that the accident rate had dropped to almost 50 per cent while fatalities had come down by 13 per cent. “Three hundred and sixty-three people died this year until May 25 as against 428 deaths recorded last year during the same period.”
He also said that road accident related injuries also came down from 5,208 last year to 4,419 in the first 145 days of 2013.
“We laid down a national strategy to reduce the number of road accidents under which speed control devices have been installed on most of the roads and the police are currently working to double the number of mobile and fixed speed control devices,” he revealed.
“We have also set up 14 stations for technical check-up for vehicles in different governorates and 43,473 vehicles are expected to be checked annually,” he added.
“There is a plan to improve road networks in co-ordination with the organisations concerned and a guide for road designing has already been updated,” the government owned Arabic daily Oman quoted him saying to the State Council members.
He also told the State Council members that the executive by-law of the Traffic Law was in the process of being amended to keep pace with the traffic situation.
Last week, Oman’s Health Minister, Dr Ahmad Bin Mohammad Al Saeedi had told the State Council members that traffic accident related casualties was one of the biggest challenges faced by the country’s health services.
Meanwhile, the ROP units in North Batinah region have raided a number of automobile workshops and confiscated 31 modified vehicles from Suwaiq town, about 150km north of Muscat.
“The vehicles were modified against the regulations so that owners could take part in illegal racing and drifting competitions,” a spokesman for the ROP said.
He added that the vehicles were modified in such a manner that they could pose a risk to public safety if driven on roads.
“These kinds of modified vehicles are the causes behind several fatal accidents in the country and we appeal to all residents to report to police if they notice any vehicle with modification or illegal racing/drifting,” he said.