Wear reflective vests to avoid road accidents: ROP

MUSCAT, Feb 4 – As a precautionary measure, cyclists have been urged to wear reflective vests when riding through busy streets in the evenings, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) sources said. “We urge all cyclists to wear reflective vests so that they can be spotted from a distance in the evenings and accidents can be avoided,” an official from the ROP told the Observer.
“Cyclists should also ensure their headlights and tail lamps are working. Besides a reflective vest, they should have their helmets on,” he said.
Cyclists in Ruwi, Al Khuwair, Al Khoudh and those riding in busy streets have been asked to comply with the new safety measures.
Statistics from the ROP and the Directorate General of Traffic indicate some 20 people lost their lives in 140 bicycle-related collisions and nearly 130 injuries reported at hospitals in 2017.
A total of 115 accidents involving motorbikes were reported during the same period, in which 13 lost their lives and 128 injured.
“Bigger vehicles are always a threat to cyclists if they are using the main roads,” said Saheedullah, a worker who commutes on a bicycle to and from his workplace.
“While cars often flash at us to clear the way, we cannot speed up. These reflective vests are a good option to reduce accidents,” he added.
“Regular motorbikes have to wear all the safety gear, without which they can be fined,” said the ROP. Repeated offences can result in cancellation of the licence.
“Motorbikes fall under the ‘vehicle with engine’ category and they have to follow the safety norms just as users of car or any other vehicle. In case of motorbikes,
users need to wear safety gear while on road.”
There are less than 1,000 motorbikes registered in Oman, according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Oman will have its first cycle pathway along with pedestrian paths. This is being built on par with standards in the Netherlands, Japan and England.