Muscat: In view of the road accidents involving school buses, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) launched an awareness drive on Sunday to ensure that students travel to school and reach home safely everyday. With the start of the new academic year, increased patrolling by traffic police was visible on Sunday morning on the city's roads leading to schools. Additional traffic police force was deployed at all intersections and turnings on major roads during school hours. The police were closely watching the movement of school buses on these roads.
According to the Ministry of Education, 267,547 male students and 261,922 girl students began their classes in 1,053 schools in various governorates and wilayats of Oman for the session 2014-2015. In addition, 12,578 new male and female students started their school life this year.
Lieutenant General Abdullah bin Saud Al Farsi, director of traffic in Muscat governorate, said the main reason behind the accidents involving school buses was the speed. Failure to slow down at turns or curves while passing through residential areas caused most of the accidents, he said, adding that the inability of a driver to deal with the students inside the school bus had led to many accidents in the past.
The ROP and the Ministry of Education will jointly organise programmes including lectures in schools and meeting with principals to create road safety awareness.
Students to be taught traffic rules
They would jointly distribute pamphlets and booklets on the guidelines. This exercise also involves making students aware about the traffic rules and regulations, said Abdullah Al Farsi.
He said the Traffic Safety Academy was playing an important role in creating awareness about road safety measures.
Abdullah Al Farsi said that given the number of students in a bus, it is not possible for a driver to take care of all.
He said that supervisors or monitors are required to ensure that students are seated when the bus is moving. These monitors or supervisors should ensure that the students do not stick their hands or heads out of the bus window and remain disciplined till they reach their destination.
The ROP has also launched a social media campaign to create awareness among students, parents and schools about the traffic rules while travelling between school and home.
Major Hamad Al Rasibi, assistant director of traffic in Buraimi governorate, said that like all other governorates of the country, elaborate arrangements have been made in Buraimi also. Traffic police patrolling during school hours has been intensified.
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