Times of Oman
Omani model caught for filming herself driving at 203kph speaks up
September 11, 2017 | 10:40 PM
by Times News Service
Wijdan Algharibi, 21, was hauled in by the Royal Oman Police after her post on Snapchat went viral.
 
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Muscat: An Omani model who filmed herself driving at 203kph and was caught after posting it on social media has admitted she’s a bad influence.

The social media influencer had her car confiscated by police for two weeks and had to pay OMR1,000 in fines.

Wijdan Algharibi, 21, was hauled in by the Royal Oman Police after her post on Snapchat went viral.

In the clip, Algharibi filmed herself while driving her Mercedes car and viewers can see the speedometer slowly climb to 203kph, as she weaves in and out of traffic on the road to the UAE.



Algharibi said: “I took a snap of myself speeding on my way to the UAE before Eid-Al-Adha. I admit that I made a mistake by speeding above the speed limit, and I regret it, especially because I’m a public figure, and I have loads of followers. I know now that I should be more careful.”

“My message for everyone is to follow the law, and remember that the Oman police are here for our safety, and that is the reason why we should respect the rules. I had to pay OMR1,000 for all of my 76 fines and my car got confiscated for two weeks. Usually, in a similar case, the police would take the person directly to the Public Prosecution, but sometimes, the police make you pay all of your fines and you get vehicle confiscation, which is what happened in my case.”

Distracted drivers are using social media while they should be concentrating on driving, experts say.

An ROP spokesman said: “In reference to what has been circulated on social media about a video in which a citizen filmed herself, and posted it on her personal Snapchat account, which showed the vehicle travelling at speeds of more than 200km/hr, the Traffic Department confirms that legal procedures have been initiated against the person, and hopes that everyone will abide by traffic rules and regulations, and make our roads safe for users.”

Ali Al Barwani, chief executive officer of Oman’s Road Safety Association, called such reckless driving shameful.

“She might think she has become very popular because of such stunts on the road, but this is an extremely dangerous act and she is actually very lucky that a very serious accident did not occur.”

“Across the world, the largest percentage of accidents occurs among people between the ages of 18 and 25, and it is the same in Oman. “I would ask all residents in the country to not do what this young woman has done,” he added.

“With social media being such a strong influence among the youth today, it is common for people to want to impress their friends, but you could lose your life if you do such things on the road. I also advise all parents to be stricter with their children in this regard, by cut off the support they give them if they continue to behave in this manner.”

Al Barwani added: “People need to be more aware about the rules of the road, and these days, you see many young people driving very recklessly. They think they can do anything once they get the licence, so there needs to be more education provided here.”

According to a handbook on accident statistics released by the ROP and the Directorate General of Traffic, 4,721 accidents took place last year, resulting in 692 deaths and 3,261 injuries. Collisions accounted for 2,076 of those accidents.

Speed was the number one cause of death, resulting in 378 deaths and 2,052 injuries from 2,499 accidents. In addition, drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 accounted for 197 deaths, or 28 per cent of all casualties, and 1,069, or 33 per cent of all injuries. Female deaths made up 14 per cent of all casualties, with 97 women losing their lives due to reckless driving last year, while 23 per cent of the injured or about 741 were also women. This incident comes after the National Centre for Statistics and Information’s (NCSI’s) data showed that more Omani women died on the roads in the first seven months of 2017 than over the same period last year.

There was a 45.7 per cent increase in the deaths of Omani females between January and the end of July this year, compared with the first seven months of last year. According to the NCSI, from the beginning of the year till the end of July 2017, the deaths of 51 Omani females were registered, up from 35 during the same period last year.

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