1 in 8 road deaths is a child in oman
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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1 in 8 road deaths is a child in Oman

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Arab Today, arab today 1 in 8 road deaths is a child in Oman

Oman road safety experts have called for stricter traffic rules enforcement
Muscat - Arab today

 One in every eight deaths on Oman’s roads last year was a child, latest traffic statistics reveal.

Children under the age of 15 made up 12 per cent of accident-related deaths in Oman, according to the latest figures released by the Royal Oman Police and the Directorate General of Traffic. 

Deaths of young people aged 15 and under accounted for 82 of the 692 fatal accidents last year. The latest statistics prompted calls for new laws and stricter enforcement, together with awareness raising campaigns aimed at educating parents. 48 of the dead children were aged just five or under.

Another 183 in that age bracket suffered injuries on the road, while 210 children between the ages of seven and 15 were injured over the same period.

Road safety experts in Oman have called for stricter enforcement of laws that prioritise the safety of children in cars, and the pressing need for car seats, while praising Royal Oman Police efforts to educate drivers.

We’ve been pushing our campaign for providing your child with seats and putting them in seat belts, and we’ve been earnestly pushing authorities to legalise this issue, since last year,” said Ali Al Barwani, Head of the Oman Road Safety Association.

“This rule must become law. We at the Oman Road Safety Association view this issue as an absolute must, as we cannot wait any longer and watch our children die in vain. The main issue for children in Oman is the lack of child seats,” he added.

“Children are at huge risk of harm and even death, even in the simplest of accidents. Every day, we see children who are moving and jumping around in vehicles. They are not properly seated or wearing their seat belts.”

The State Council of Oman will today take part in a seminar to educate people about safe driving in the Sultanate. The seminar on the role of traffic law and reducing accidents and saving lives and property, will discuss novel approaches towards roadside safety and reducing accidents.

“The State Council’s participation is based on the conviction that it should contribute towards enhancing awareness of traffic safety and promote a culture of safety on the roads,” said Altaf Al Marhoon, Asst. Secretary General for Oman’s Information and Research Centre.

Al Barwani’s strong words were echoed by Daryl Hardie, CEO of the Safety First campaign, which aims to promote awareness of child welfare among Oman residents.

“There needs to be a law when it comes to children’s safety and child seats in cars, and more importantly, it needs to be well-enforced,” said Hardie.

“The moment you have a monetary responsibility, people will take notice and they will follow the law. There had been plans to issue this law in 2015 or 2016, and it hasn’t come through yet.

“The Royal Oman Police has been doing a very good job trying to spread awareness of child safety to families, but this is not a mentality that will change overnight,” he added.

“We ourselves were involved in the distribution of more than 1,000 car seats to families, and road safety is being taught in schools as well. We’ll soon have a generation of young children telling their older brothers and sisters and parents about the importance of road safety, and that’s how you spread awareness among people.”

Article 217, of the Omani penal code states that a person who puts a child below seven or a vulnerable person in a dangerous situation or abandons him/her shall be jailed for a minimum period of three months and up to one year. The punishment is doubled if the offence was committed by the child’s parents or guardian.

Altaf Bint Omar Al Marhoon, Assistant Secretary General for the State Council’s Information and Research Center, said the council has compiled a book on legal aspects of traffic safety, which explains the provisions of the Traffic Law and its regulations in an interactive manner for readers who are not well acquainted with the prevalent law.

The Council has also produced awareness films for children and young people to teach them the concepts of traffic safety.

A total of 4,721 accidents took place last year, resulting in 692 deaths and 3,261 injuries. While the number of deaths has increased slightly, up from 675 in 2015, the number of accidents themselves (6,279) and injury reports (3,624), have both gone down sharply.

The numbers are also a lot lower than they were in 2014, when 6,717 accidents occurred, leading to 816 deaths and 3,835 injuries.

Pakistani resident Munawar Hameed, who lost his son, 14-year-old Zafeer, in a car accident last year, said: “With the way drivers behave on the roads, parents must be extra careful when it comes to letting their children cross the road,” he said.

“Some of the drivers in Oman are reckless, and there needs to be more done to protect children when they leave home.”
Source: Timesofoman

 

 

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