Muscat: Police are advising drivers to carefully check their speeding fines after a number of cases where drivers were fined for speeding by mistake.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has blamed this on human error.
In one case, an expat who had just obtained his driving licence in Oman was told he owed fines when he went to buy his first new car.
A number of people in the Sultanate have complained about getting fined wrongly. Rohit Pilangad, a resident of Muscat, was recently charged OMR10 for speeding in Salalah. “When I checked the ROP app for fines under my name, I was surprised to see a fine of OMR10 charged for speeding in Salalah. I never took my car to Salalah!”
The Royal Oman Police is aware that this has been happening in Oman but says that it is just a common human error that can be rectified easily.
“If someone has been fined falsely then there might have been a mistake on the part of the official who is entering the data in the system. However, if you have a complaint and think that you are being charged a fine with no mistake of yours, then you can just go to the ROP traffic department and your complaint will be addressed. If it is a speeding fine then the traffic radar would’ve clicked the picture and hence it can be transparently proven if you are at fault or not.”
In a similar case that took place a few months back, Murali Jagdish was asked to pay an OMR10 fine.
“Initially I thought that I was being fined for jumping the signal and so I went to the Seeb ROP in order to enquire. When the ROP realised that it was its mistake, I was asked to go to Sur ROP and get the fine withdrawn.
“According to the system, I had committed a traffic violation there, or I could submit a letter to Seeb ROP which would be forwarded to the Sur branch. But since I was told that this would take some time and I needed to get all my fines cleared before renewing my car registration. Therefore, I paid the dues because it was better for me to pay the fine than driving all the way to Sur for OMR10 which was not worth it.”
In another instance, when Robin Varghese visited a Dhofar automobiles showroom after getting his licence, he was surprised to discover that a fine of OMR140 was pending against his name.
“Before buying a car, most automotive companies check if there are any fines pending under your name. Only if all the dues have been paid will you be eligible to buy a new car. I was shocked to find out about the fine as I just gotten my licence and had never driven in Oman before,” Varghese revealed.
“I went to the ROP office in Qurum and complained, after which I was given a detailed fine report stamped by the ROP which proved that I hadn’t committed any traffic violation,” he added.
“Last year, I got a speeding fine of OMR10. However, I was in India for my annual vacation at the time I received the fine and my car was safely parked in front of my house in Darsait. I was surprised to see the fine as no one had driven the car when I was away,” said Roja Sunil, who works with an insurance firm in Muscat.