Safety is the buzzword for students, drivers and teachers as schools reopen for the new academic year in the Sultanate of Oman on Sunday after the summer vacation.
With a call to ensure safety of students, the Ministry of Education and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) have instructed all involved in the transportation to abide by traffic regulations and avoid bad behaviour.
In a two-minute film titled “Child on Board” to raise traffic awareness on child safety inside the vehicle, the ROP calls for ensuring the safety of school students in school buses and roads through the cooperation of all, especially drivers of other vehicles.
“Our children are students. Because you are the most valuable investment for this country. We wish you an academic year full of enthusiasm and activity”, the ROP said in the film released on the occasion.
The film asks both drivers and students to be vigilant at pick-up and drop-off points. Drivers of public and private school buses must be careful at these spots and not move until they are sure that all students have crossed the streets.
“Buses should be stopped at designated places, whether in front of schools or after work is completed”, the film urges the drivers.
"ROP has taken many measures in coordination with the Ministry of Education and in line with the Traffic Law and its executive regulations”, Colonel Khamis bin Ali al Batashi, Assistant Director-General of Traffic, said.
He said the instructions are significant because speeding, negligence, bad behaviour and not keeping a safe distance are among the main causes of traffic accidents in the country.
Roads are expected to witness heavy traffic, especially at peak times. Taking this into account, traffic patrols will be posted to facilitate the movement of school buses, give them priority in traffic, and monitor the extent to which the bus driver adheres to traffic rules and regulations, and the number of allowed on a bus.
In the weekly radio programme “Al-Ain Al-Sahira” and an episode entitled: "Student safety is a shared responsibility", First Lieutenant Saeed Salim al Mahrazi, Directorate of Relations and Public Information, stressed on the need to instil traffic awareness among students to avoid accidents through the use of the best educational and training means, and information.
Another film released by the Ministry of Education directly communicates with students drawing their attention to important aspects of safety when taking a bus or any other means of transport to school.
The initiative has been designed to sensitise, motivate and train children and school bus staff, on issues related to school bus travel and safety.
“The most dangerous aspects of riding the school bus is getting on and off the bus, and crossing the street, the film asks students to wait in a safe place, and make sure the bus has stopped completely”, it said.