Oman’s seat belt law among the best

MUSCAT, Dec 8 – Oman is among the 105 countries that have seat belt laws meeting best practice in 2017, according to World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2018 Global Report on Road Safety. The Royal Oman Police (ROP) have implemented stringent traffic laws on seat belts and child safety seats that will help reduce number of fatalities in road accidents.
It may be noted that in the Sultanate a seat belt is must for all passengers in a vehicle.
The report says wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of deaths among drivers and front seat occupants by 45 to 50 per cent and the risk of death and serious injuries among rear seat occupants by 25 per cent. WHO emphasises the fact that the mandatory laws are highly effective in promoting wearing of seat belts and is a cost-effective way for reducing road accident deaths and injuries.
Similarly, child restraints are highly effective in reducing the risk of injury and death to child occupants, the report added.
It can reduce the risk of deaths by 60 per cent. The benefits of child restraints are said to be greatest for children under four years of age. In Oman child restraints are applicable to children under the age of -four and penalties include one black point and a fine of RO 10. Children under 10 years of age are banned from sitting in the front seat.
For children between 8 and 12 years, the use of child restraints has been associated with a 19 per cent reduction in the odds of injury compared to using seat belts alone. The position of children in either front or rear seats is also important as a high risk for injury is associated with front seating position.
The report says the best practice for this law is the requirement of a child to use restraints at least until 10 years of age or 135 cm of height. Restrictions for children under a certain age or height from sitting in the front seat and specification of a standard for child restraints.