Any change in road attitude?

Children continue to sit unprotected in the rear seat, while motorists still talk on the mobile phones while driving — a proof that the driving culture has not changed much despite the new traffic laws (with enhanced penalties) that came into force a little more than a month ago.
Changes in the traffic law included the awarding of black points, review of driving licences and use of seatbelts for all passengers.
“There has been some impact, but accidents continue to be reported, including that of a school vehicle, in the recent months. Rules are a deterrent, but driving is about attitude. Owners of high-end vehicles think they rule or own the road,” said Moshin with years of experience as a driver in the oil and gas sector.
“I still see children in the rear seat unprotected and the use of mobile phones while on the move. They are taking chances because police cannot be present everywhere,” he said.
While Oman has one of the best road networks in the world, the rate of accidents is disproportionate to the size of its population.
According to the World Road Quality Index for 2017-2018, among the GCC countries, the Sultanate is ranked second and 14th globally, with a total street length of 35,521 km. “I don’t know why people use mobile phones when driving. It must be made a rule not to attend calls and return calls later. It is obvious most of the phone conversations are just casual as people cannot do away with the device,” said Fatma, a government employee who travels from Maabela to her office in Al Khuwair.
She added, “I have hardly noticed anyone jumping the signal, but other offences like the use of mobile phones, chatting with fellow passengers and tailgating continue at will. I think people do not take other penalties seriously as jumping the signal can lead them to imprisonment.”
Countries like the UK, Sweden, Maldives, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain and Norway are rated among the countries with best road safety records. Deaths due to traffic accidents are under four per 100,000 in these nations.
All motorists in Oman can certainly work towards placing the country in this elite list because the country has top quality infrastructure.
In Oman, the number of accidents has declined by 39 per cent and accident deaths by 17.3 per cent.
“These numbers are academic because even one casualty due to driving negligence is a national loss. But still numbers indicate that old driving habits are changing, albeit slowly,” said an official source.