Beach driving will invite trouble

MUSCAT, Feb 28 –
Thrill-seeking drivers on Omani beaches and parks are in for trouble with violators facing fine and jail.
The Muscat Municipality, in cooperation with the Royal Oman Police (ROP), has set regulations to ban people from driving onto the beaches. “The regulations were necessitated as some reckless drivers were using the beaches as a playground for their vehicles while completely disregarding the safety of others,” said a statement from the municipality.
Article VI of the Muscat Municipality Order No 23 prohibits any person from driving cars or riding motorbikes on gardens, parks or public beaches.
Rules stipulate a fine of not more than RO 100 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two months in case of violation.
Thousands of Omanis, expatriates and tourists flock to enjoy the Sultanate’s beaches every weekend and holidays. It is common to see quad bikes and motocross bikes racing up and down the sand on these beaches.
This not only generates noise pollution, but also poses threat to safety and endanger bystanders coming to the beach to relax.
While the ROP will place posters and monitor sites, the civic authorities will install barricades, besides launching awareness campaigns on the safety aspects on the beaches.
While calling on the community to cooperate with the municipality to maintain all facilities in the governorate safe and comfortable, the statement said: “Authorities are always keen to develop a strategy to protect the beaches and marine life from hazardous contaminants.”