National child car seat campaign launched

May 3  – Shell Development Oman (SDO), Shell Oman Marketing (SOM), Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), and Oman LNG have partnered with the Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA) to launch a nationwide Child Car Seat Campaign. The participating parties have signed a MoU outlining their commitment and responsibilities to the campaign. An executive committee, composed of representatives from each company, will work closely with ORSA to raise awareness on the importance of the use of child seats to ensure that they are a driving force in enhancing the safety of children from injuries and fatalities on Oman roads, in line with government’s efforts and recent passed legislation

Endorsed by the Royal Oman Police, the three-phase campaign will advocate for the use of child car seats. Public outreach activities will be implemented across a number of schools, hospitals, and shopping malls throughout Oman to raise awareness on protecting children. In addition, midwives will be offered specialized training on proper installation and provisions will be made to ensure that child seats are accessible and affordable. Finally, use of car seats will be re-enforced through company prescribed internal Human resources (HR) and Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) policies of participating energy partners, immediately impacting nearly ten thousand families. All this will be underpinned by a multi-media communications program that will focus on each aspect, including the importance of purchasing child car seats to fitting them correctly.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of our energy partners. By bringing the best minds together, we can influence behavior and change the driving culture in Oman to protect our children, making our roads safer for future generations,” said Ali Al Barwani, CEO of ORSA. “Simply put, car seats save children. A child’s body cannot withstand the impact of a collision and therefore is more prone to injuries. Research shows that the only proven way we can protect our children is by putting them in properly fitted, purpose-made child car seats that are appropriate for their height, weight and age.”

He went on to explain, “But a good car seat is not enough. We need to ensure parents not only understand their importance and why they have to take it seriously but educate them on how to properly install them to avoid common mistakes.”

Brigadier-General Dr Mohammed Awadh Al Rawas, Director General of Traffic at the Royal Oman Police said: “The Royal Oman Police (ROP) represented by the General Directorate of Traffic is making great efforts to enhance traffic safety in Oman. Through their hard work and collaboration with community leaders and citizens alike, the ROP has been able to successfully reduce the number of traffic accidents.

Since 2012, the number of crashes on Oman’s road has gone down due largely to the efforts and dedication of the Royal Oman Police and our community. The signing of this MoU today at the Institute of Traffic Safety reconfirms the Royal Oman Police commitment to involve the community in efforts to increase traffic safety and reduce automobile accidents. This comes in line with the passing of new traffic regulations which requires drivers to ensure children under the age of four are in a car seat, protecting them from the injuries while riding in a car. The ROP will continue its efforts to raise awareness and work with both government entities and members of the private sector to make the Sultanate’s roads safer for all.”

Road accidents are the leading cause of death and injury for children. According to 2016 Traffic statistics, 1 out of 8 deaths on Oman’s roads are that of a child. Earlier this year, the Royal Oman Police issued more stringent traffic laws including the mandatory use of child seats for children under four years of age. Studies indicate that car seats can reduce the risk of death in an accident by more than 50%.