Muscat: Residents travelling from Ruwi to Hamriya and beyond will be more alert after the Muscat Municipality painted warning lines on the flyover linking the two areas.
The move comes as the authorities attempt to avoid serious accidents on what is a critical road linking parts of the city together. Last year, on May 15, two people lost their lives on this stretch of highway, and another was seriously injured, after a truck carrying water canisters overturned on the bridge and careered off it onto the road below.
The truck was reportedly headed to Ruwi, and had three occupants inside: an Omani driver and his two Bangladeshi helpers. The driver and one helper died on the spot, and another was admitted to hospital with severe injuries.
In light of the new measures adopted for this road, Ali Al Barwani, the head of Oman’s Road Safety Association, said the Muscat Municipality has taken a step in the right direction.
“This is a good thing that the municipality has done, because it will make drivers more aware of the need to slow down as they approach the highway,” he told the Times of Oman. “We are very proud of the good road networks we have in Oman, but these need to be respected, and it may not look like much, but having these lines on the road will get the drivers’ attention and they will remember to watch their speed.
“Currently, the government is doing a lot to improve the safety measures on the road, such as (installing) more cameras, radar and better technology, but sometimes, the simpler solutions also work well, and this is an example of that,” added Al Barwani. “What happened last year was very tragic and no one wants to see this happen, so I hope this will help drivers in the future.”
Al Barwani also stressed the need for people to be aware, and asked them not to rely on road signs while they were driving.
“It is well and good to have all of these preventive measures on the road, but unless the people who are driving the vehicles stay alert and use discretion, these accidents will unfortunately continue to take place,” he explained.
“What is therefore necessary is that people remain alert at all times, and don’t attempt anything rash on the road,” added Al Barwani.
“That way, everyone will remain safe and there will be less loss of life.”
Last year, according to a report released by the Directorate General of Traffic and the Royal Oman Police, a total of 692 deaths were recorded, 187 of which were due to overturned vehicles, while a further 272 were caused by vehicle collisions. Another 67 occurred because of collision with fixed objects.
In addition, 3,261 injuries were recorded, with a whopping 1,660 of them taking place due to collisions with other vehicles, 674 due to overturned vehicles, and another 570 because of collisions with fixed objects.
According to figures from the National Centre for Statistics and Information, 354 accidents took place in May, causing 47 deaths and 331 injuries.