Muscat: Royal Oman Police (ROP) is planning to ask private sector companies owning heavy trucks to install tracking devices to monitor the on-road behaviour of their drivers.
The ROP will also be soon using mobile weighing devices to ascertain the load being carried in a truck in order to seize any vehicles found violating the rules.
Overloaded trucks have been found to be the main cause for traffic bottlenecks as they hamper smooth movement.
Besides, the ROP will intensify patrolling to check heavy trucks violating peak timing rules.
According to the ROP rules, heavy trucks cannot ply during peak hours, that is, from 6am to 9am and from 1pm to 3.30pm.
"If heavy trucks do not abide by these rules, their drivers will be fined by the ROP patrols," an official said, adding that the intention was to ensure safety and smooth movement of traffic.
The official explained that the increase in the number of heavy vehicles in Oman was owing to the economic boom as well as infrastructure projects currently under way in the Sultanate of Oman.
"The Royal Oman Police, in coordination with various government agencies, is seeking to ensure an easy passage for these heavy trucks to serve the public interest but at the same time, it has to guard against causing any inconvenience to other road users," the official said.
The ROP recently coordinated with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to conduct a study about the demand from the public not to allow the movement of heavy trucks during peak time in some governorates. It also considered the demands of the private sector not to ban trucks as this might have a negative economic impact.
Heavy trucks-related accidents causing deaths have been a cause of worry for the authorities.
According to statistics, road accidents involving heavy trucks in Oman have claimed 45 lives and left 456 injured in 616 accidents in 2013, compared to 44 deaths and 533 injuries in 2012.
"Most such accidents in Oman were caused by the drivers of light vehicles because majority of the heavy trucks found involved in such accidents were actually parked by the roadside at the time of the mishap," a senior ROP official told Times of Oman.
He went on to add, "Most such light vehicles' drivers involved in the road accidents were found using cellphones while driving which led them to lose the control of the vehicle, skidding off and colliding with heavy trucks."
The official added: "Light vehicle drivers do not maintain safe distance between their vehicles and heavy trucks. This often leads to crashing from behind when the heavy truck driver applies brakes."
In an effort to reduce accidents involving heavy trucks, the ROP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Manpower, continues to train Omani heavy truck drivers at the Traffic Safety Institute. The ROP has already trained 400 drivers of heavy trucks in safe driving skills and conducted awareness programmes for these drivers employed in the private sector.
Source - Royal Oman Police