By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: Feb. 13 – Beware, motorists. Don’t stop your car at no-parking zones with the engine on even for a short period of time. Doing so could attract a fine, according to the Royal Oman Police (ROP). The rule applies to vehicles parked on yellow striped lines or chevron signs and whose drivers are seated inside. No-parking zones can’t be used even when waiting as it is against the law. “Stopping by the yellow striped lined areas even for a short period and drivers remaining seated inside is against the law, and will be fined,” a top official at the ROP told the Observer. In some cases, the yellow striped lines happen to be in front of a small grocery or a tea shop, and the driver wants to have tea or purchase something while the hazard lights are on.
They too can be fined, the source said. “In such cases, the person driving the vehicle should find a parking place close by,” he added. Of late, many motorists have been fined for parking their vehicles on yellow checkered lines. “I got a ticket for just stopping by a grocery shop for a few minutes at night in Darsait as I didn’t notice the yellow striped line underneath,” said Suraj, a private sector employee. To his surprise, he received a ticket from the traffic police on patrol. “None of these reasons justify a driver’s intention to park his vehicle in a no-parking area. Unless it’s an emergency, parking in areas that are not designated for the purpose is a clear violation of traffic rule, and ROP will continue to book such offenders,” the source clarified.
The official advised all motorists to stick to their lanes and avoid traffic congestions at signals, failing which fines ranging from RO 35-50 would be slapped. Drunk driving is an offence that will attract a fine of RO 500 and or one-year jail term for citizens and expatriates. For the latter, the punishment will be followed by deportation. Any driver found to be under the influence of prohibited drugs or overtaking in a dangerous manner will be charged with similar punishments. Those using a mobile phone when driving will be fined RO 300 and jailed for a month to two years, while drag racing on the streets is punishable with a three-month jail term and a fine of RO 300. After the new traffic law was promulgated through Royal Decree No 38/2016 in September last year, ROP has been carrying out random checks and booking traffic law offenders, aiming to bring down the number of traffic offences.