Buckle your child tight, as children top victims

Children continue to account for a large number of victims in accidents on Oman’s roads pointing at the need for mandatory child seats.
In the latest accident, three children were injured in the Wilayat of Maqshan in Dhofar Governorate on the weekend.
According to the Royal Oman Police (ROP), the children were airlifted to Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah after the accident.
“Along with creating awareness about the dangers on the roads, rules should be converted into law to ensure violators get stringent punishment,” said an official from Oman Road Safety Association.
Although the latest data shows a drop in the number of accidents, the fatality rate is still startling, with 314 cases being reported in the first half of 2017.
The number of road accidents in the Sultanate in the first quarter of 2017 shows a decline of 28.8 per cent to 895, from 1,257 during the same period in 2016.
Road accidents in January, February and March 2017 were reported to be 318, 287 and 290 respectively.
At the same time, children and adults accounted for 12 per cent of deaths in the carnages on roads, while 210 children between ages seven and 15 were injured in 2016.
“All these fatalities are the result of dereliction on the part of parents. They are either not buckled up while seated or not provided with the child seat. This means there must be a law that makes child seats mandatory in the country,” said Ali al Abri.
At present, the Oman Penal Code outlaws endangerment of children but there is nothing specific in the country’s traffic laws on the issue.
“As parents, child safety should be our utmost concern and we should ensure car seat safety is top priority when we are driving,” said Paul Illianois, a parent.
He said your child’s safety should not take a back seat just because he or she is too young and can’t sit upright to belt up yet.
“There should not be any compromise as far as child’s safety is concerned while travelling,” he added.

SAMUEL KUTTY