Muscat: Starting March 1, leaving the site of an accident without informing the authorities could lead to serious ramifications, according to the Royal Oman Police (ROP). According to the new traffic regulations, drivers who leave the accident site before all procedures are completed will be fined OMR35 and given two black points.
Ali Al Barwani, CEO of Oman’s Road Safety Association, said: “This fine targets the behaviour of drivers. Though it is not common, such rules are important as they clarify that hit-and-run is a crime.”
Article 38 of the traffic law states: “If the driver of a vehicle has an accident, resulting in injuries or damage to public or private property, the driver must notify the nearest police station or ambulance immediately. No person or workshop shall be allowed to repair any vehicle that has undergone a traffic accident without obtaining a permit from the police station or bodies designated by the Inspector-General.”
“The fine focuses on administrative procedures. It has been done to ensure that justice is served. It is also an effective way to ensure that a case is closed properly,” Al Barwani said.
The major reasons for leaving the scene of an accident include not having a licence, fear of prosecution, and not having vehicle registration or insurance.
“In my observation, many people are afraid to finish the procedure after an accident because of insurance. They do not want to pay for the repairs.But, this is not an excuse. People should always follow the law,” Al Barwani said
The last two cases of hit-and-run in the country took place in Sohar, resulting in deaths. In both cases, the ROP had arrested the suspects.
“The hit-and-run attitude is not very common. We live in a responsible community, where individuals usually stop after an accident, evaluate the severity of the scene, and act accordingly. This law, however, is for individuals who take advantage of certain scenarios and do not stop,” Al Barwani said.
Echoing the sentiment, an ROP official said: “Bad behaviour by certain drivers endangers the lives of road users.”