Muscat: Road safety experts have raised concerns after a video showing someone drifting their car on a traffic signal at night went viral on social media.
The person was arrested by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) soon after the act, which sparked anger among people.
Watch: Person drifting car in viral video arrested by Oman police
“The General Traffic Department confirms that legal action has been taken against those who committed this act,” ROP said.
“We hope that everyone will abide by traffic rules and regulations and make our roads safer for their users,” it added.
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Ali Al Barwani, chairman of the Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA), said this was careless behaviour. “This was simply careless behaviour and the person was being negligent about the rules.”
“I am not against drifting as a sport, in fact it’s one of the very famous pastimes among youngsters in Oman, but this needs to be done properly and in designated areas. The Oman Automobile Association (OAA) has a number of competitions for drifting, and that is also the right place to practice this, with regulated and safe areas for it.”
He said the problem kicks in when individuals drift on open roads with other cars on it. “The problem happens when people do such things in public places, the road is not for drifting, even if it’s by midnight or beyond. It annoys people and may lead to serious injuries if not death of those in the car and the ones around.”
“This was really dangerous and might even be a court issue; I see this as a kind of distraction for people on the roads. The road is for everybody not just one person or a group. Those carrying out such activities need to think of the grave consequences,” cautioned Al Barwani.
“This person needs to be publicised, otherwise there are others who will continue doing this thinking they will get away with it. Oman is a country of rules and law, so laws need to be abided.”
Al Barwani also called for safe drifting in designated areas, “We have the OAA, and if there are people who feel like they need to practice drifting, they can very well go to the association, which is well equipped with specialised people in there. They are also active in Ramadan as well. On the contrary, I believe that even if we did not have enough facilitates for drifting in the country, it doesn’t give these drivers an excuse to carry out this act in a public place.”
Daryl Hardie, chief executive officer of Safety First said, “That's an example of the driver’s stupidity and recklessness. It's a good thing that he was tracked down and punished for putting other vehicles and people at risk of damage and injury.”
“Unfortunately, it's only the fear of punishment and large fines that often deter these people from doing exactly this in public places. I know that the Oman Automobile Club run a number of Drift events encouraging drivers to come and practice in a controlled safe environment.”
“It’s important to have drift areas (that are properly monitored and controlled) for young drivers to go and practice, as you don't want them on the public roads.”
Nabeel, a regular drifter, expressed his shock at the video. “This is horrible; I can’t imagine what that guy was thinking. I like drifting but I would always do it in a controlled environment rather than go to the open road. These are the guys who bring a bad name to other drifters and they need to be punished, you can’t put others safety at risk and get away with it.”