Oman behind Saudi Arabia in GCC road fatalities
December 2, 2015 | 8:02 PM
by Tariq Al Haremi [email protected]

MUSCAT: Saudi Arabia tops the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in traffic-related deaths and Oman comes second, a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated.

Oman registered 25.4 deaths per 100,000 people, placing it behind Saudi Arabia that led with 27.7 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the WHO’s Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015.

“Made possible through funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, this report is the third in the series, and provides a snapshot of the road safety situation globally, highlighting the gaps and the measures needed to best drive progress,” the report said.

However, Royal Oman Police (ROP) officials said the number of accidents had dropped from 8,209 in 2012 to 7,829 in 2013 and 6,717 in 2014 to 4,937 in 2015 because of “major awareness campaigns.”

“Thanks to the major awareness campaigns (launched) by the ROP, the number of accidents has been halved between 2012 and 2015,” an ROP official told the Times of Oman.

The findings reveal that drivers of four-wheel cars and light vehicles make up for 35 per cent of road deaths in Oman.

The passengers make up for 29 per cent and pedestrians make up for 23 per cent of the road deaths in the Sultanate.

The total number of road accidents stood at 6,717 in 2014 (18 per day) while 836 deaths were recorded (2.3 per day).

Speeding top killer

Speeding is the top killer in Oman, with a total of 3,510 accidents recorded in 2014 alone. At least 428 people were killed in these accidents, while 1,743 were injured.

Overtaking and negligence are the second and third most fatal causes of accidents in the Sultanate of Oman, according to the ROP.

Vehicle defects resulted in the death of 32 people, while road defects killed 25 in 2014.

Around 10 people were killed in 2014 in drunken driving accidents, while 15 died for not keeping safe distance, according to an ROP report.

Data from ROP indicated a 14 per cent decrease in the number of car accidents during 2013 and 2014.

The report based its information on data retrieved from the statistics unit at the Traffic Department in ROP. It indicated that 913 fatalities were registered, where 86 per cent of the victims were male, while the remaining 14 per cent were females.

Traffic deaths

The number of road traffic deaths in the world was 1.25 million in 2013 and it has remained fairly constant since 2007, despite the increase in global motorisation and population, and the predicted rise in deaths, WHO findings revealed. WHO said road traffic injuries are the main cause of deaths among those aged 15 to 29, followed by suicide, HIV/AIDS and homicide.

Africa has the biggest death rate stemming from road accidents, constituting 26.6 deaths per 100,000 persons, while the Eastern Mediterranean, which includes Oman too, recorded a rate of 19.9 deaths per 100,000 people.

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