People of Oman hail new traffic laws
February 28, 2018 | 8:53 PM
by Times News Service
Safety rules carry a great deal of importance in ensuring that people of this land are safe.

#ReadersResponse: Citizens and residents in Oman have welcomed the new traffic laws, which have come into effect starting today. A new era of road safety has begun in the country as 52 new traffic laws and 13 new penalties come into effect.

“It’s a change that I was looking forward to seeing on the streets of Oman,” Sudha, who works with a private firm, said. “I used to go crazy whenever I noticed a child sitting in the back seat of a car without a child seat or even a seatbelt,” she added.

The 45-year-old said she refuses to drive unless her children are buckled up in their seats. “It’s really dangerous when you are driving at 100km per hour and I can’t sacrifice losing one of my children. I can control myself while driving on these streets, but I don’t have any control over others and that is an issue,” she said.

“Hopefully from Thursday, I will see more people using child seats. I’m extremely happy, hoping that more and more people would use them not only because they will be fined, but also to keep their children safe, as it’s our duty to do so. The new rules are there to keep us safe,” she added.

Another resident said that adhering to the new rules might take time for people who have more than one child. “Change is not easy and following new rules could take time,” Kumar from Bangladesh said.

Several people agreed that safety rules had a great deal of importance for people’s safety, and most importantly, they had to be strictly enforced.

“Only if they are enforced,” Jelena Lagger said, adding “Bad habits are hard to break. If people are under the impression that they can get away with things anyway, the rules will have absolutely no impact on the current situation.”

Stephen Morgan, however, begged to differ and said “The law will have no effect whatsoever. People will do as they please.” His statement shed light on the importance of raising awareness regarding traffic safety.

“Bolstering the public transport system and creating awareness would be the right thing,” Manoj Karumathil said. “Everybody should obey the law of the land and most of the laws are for our own safety,” he added.

“There are so many other issues while driving on the road here,” Alex Bradbury said. “People making calls, texting, or using WhatsApp, not indicating, weaving from lane to lane, driving the wrong way down a street, using the opposite lane to overtake traffic when there is a queue, pulling out of siding without even checking whether someone is coming down the road... the list is endless. The new rules are good, but these things need to be resolved before driving becomes safer here. It starts with the instructors and ends with stiffer penalties for offenders,” she added.

One of the most talked about laws is the child car seat law. “I am really worried about those who don’t have cars of their own, like me,” Zohaib Qaiser said.

“I have three children. While going out, how will we fit into one taxi with three child car seats and two adults?” he asked. For such situations, Dan Anthony suggested that child seats must be provided even in taxis. “It should be mandatory for taxi drivers to have a child car seat,” he said.

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