ROP gives lessons in road safety to schoolchildren

954970By Kaushalendra Singh — SALALAH: March 14 – The Royal Oman Police (ROP) took up the task of educating the schoolchildren basic traffic rules and impressing upon them to adopt the best traffic practices when they grow up and achieve the age of getting a driving licence. The awareness campaign among school students coincides with the ongoing GCC-wide Road Safety Week, which is being observed with this year’s theme of ‘Life is important’. A team of traffic policemen visited Al Saidia School and did an interactive session with the students. Team leader Captain Ahmed Said Ghawas impressed upon the students primarily to discourage use of mobile phones or for that matter any distraction while driving.
“It has been observed that most of the accidents happening either due to talking on phone or texting while driving or due to over speed. You as a student should know and spread this knowledge to others even to your elders and parents that over speed kills and use of mobile phones can be avoided till you reach your destination,” he said.
He cited some data with the students which suggested that in 80 per cent of the accidents the
drivers of one of the parties were distracted somehow just three seconds before the accidents. As such he said using a “hand-free cell phone while driving is also as dangerous as hand held devices.”
He suggested total “no” to phones while driving as “drivers who are busy with their phones spend 10 per cent of their time off their lane. Texting or reading texts messages while driving is most dangerous. It distracts the driver’s attention from the road environment and looking into the cell phone while driving at 100kmph is equal to driving blindly for 60 metres.”
954718Ghawas alerted the students with this dangerous desire of looking at their received texts and temptation to respond as early as possible.
“30 per cent of respondents of a survey said they take a quick look at their morning text
messages, while 20 per cent admitted they reply as well. The percentage of this trend is more in the age group of 18-24,” he said while interacting with the students through a presentation.
Ghawas said the school students were the future drivers. They need to know about traffic norms well in advance before they hit the road.
“We have doing this exercise for the several years and have found positive change in driving pattern. Still there are people
who do not follow rules. We have rules and laws in place to deal with them,” he said.