By Samuel Kutty — MUSCAT: APRIL 4 – Accidents on the Sultanate’s roads have witnessed a significant drop of 26.1 per cent during the first two months of this year. While Muscat Governorate topped the list accounting for 35.5 per cent, Al Batinah stood second with 24 per cent. According to data from National Centre for Statistics and Information quoting Royal Oman Police sources, 63 per cent of the accidents occurred during day time. The number of persons suffered injuries fell 12.7 per cent year on year to reach 453 cases in January and February 2017, comparing with 519 during the corresponding period last year.
Although deaths showed a marginal fall of 4.9 per cent, 71 Omanis and 27 foreigners lost their lives in road accidents. In most cases, the main reasons are speeding and use of mobile phones while driving. At a seminar organised by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Brig Mohammad bin Awad al Rawas, Director-General of Traffic, confirmed that there was a remarkable fall in accidents during the recent years. According to him, this was made possible as a result of awareness campaigns, inspection of car safety and increased use of radars to monitor speed.
“Still speeding by youngsters and use of mobile phones while driving continue to be major challenges”, he said. During a three-year period, the number of road accidents fell from 7,829 in 2013 to 4,448 by the end of 2016. “Speed radars and other speed-calming measures or any tool that aims at improving road safety are effective only when motorists play their part,” Brig Al Rawas said.