Oman accident: Plans to make horror crash road safer in Ibri
March 7, 2016 | 10:34 PM
by Fahad Al Ghadani [email protected]
To prevent crash on Fahud-Ibri stretch, steps are being taken to improve the lighting system and maintenance works. Shabin E

Muscat: Officials are discussing a raft of measures to make the road where 18 people died last week safer.

Better maintenance of the road, improved lighting system and allocating a wider area for road shoulders are among the measures discussed to prevent accidents on the Qarat Al Milh-Uwaifiya-Ibri road, the scene of a horrific crash last week.

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Eighteen people were killed and 16 suffered grave injuries in the early morning accident in Ibri. Three vehicles including a bus, a trailer and a car were involved in the accident.

As a response to the accident, the Majlis Al Shura held a meeting with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to address the issue, a member of Majlis Al Shura confirmed to the Times of Oman.

“We have discussed in particular this issue with the Minister of Transport and Communication and he has welcomed our suggestions. A team has been formed to study the issues relating to the road and come out with a report to find quick solutions,” said Ali Al Mashani, the Shura member.

He said Shura members’ suggestions included better maintenance of the road, proper lighting arrangements and earmarking a wider area for shoulders along the 214-kilometre road.

“Such things will definitely help save more lives in the future,” asserted Al Mashani.

Al Mashani explained that travelling on the Fahud-Ibri road saves almost 56km and around 30 minutes, for motorists travelling between Ibri and Dhofar. However, he cautioned that it is better to lose half-an-hour and avoid risky road than putting one’s life in peril.

He added that people tend to avoid the Adam-Nizwa-Thumrait road as it is less busy compared to the other road.

“But it’s not worth risking your life for the sake of 30 minutes,” said Al Mashani.

“We couldn’t demand the construction of a new road as everybody is aware of the financial crisis. We had to be reasonable and ask for possible and quick solutions,” noted Al Mashani.

This road is mostly used by motorists heading from Ibri side as well as visitors coming from the Gulf countries, or trucks travelling between the Gulf countries and Salalah.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications also explained that the road was built to serve the nearby villages and it is now making efforts to improve the road in terms of enhancing safety measures, including expansion of shoulders and pavement, providing better lighting at some of the intersections close to service roads, and providing a better communication network, according to the media department at the Ministry.

The Ministry will also coordinate with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to look providing coverage in areas where the communication network is not available.

The Ministry will also organise public transport, especially bus transportation, in coordination with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) in terms of imposing guidelines and regulations for vehicles and drivers before obtaining the approvals and licences to practice such business.

The meeting was chaired by Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Salim Al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, Eng. Salim Mohammed Al Nuaimi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for Transport, Mohammed Abu Bakar Al Ghassani, Vice Chairman of the Majlis Al Shura, and other members of the council.

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