Muscat: The revamped traffic scheme which introduced “Black points” for traffic offences has begun to bite as some drivers in Oman have found their licences only being renewed for one year, instead of the standard two.
A Royal Oman Police official told Times of Oman the move is part of traffic law amendments which came into effect in March 2018. The new rules mean that drivers who have committed traffic violations adding up to seven points in one year have faced this sanction, while those who have accumulated more than 12 points might be required to take their driving test again before being allowed back on the road.
The ROP official added, “According to the amended executive lists for traffic law, people are given two-year licences. However, people who have amassed between 7 and 12 points in a year will be given a probation period, represented by a one-year licence.” ROP issued this clarification after several people were reported to have received one-year licences, instead of those that expired after two years.
“We have not changed the system since the last executive list, which anyone can find on the police website,” explained the official.
“The standard length for an Omani or expat driver’s licence is two years, but you will be given a one-year licence if you have committed a number of traffic violations in the year before.”
All new drivers in Oman start with the probation period to make sure that they drive responsibly during the first year after they pass their test, according to the law.
“If you commit between seven and 12 traffic violations during the probation period, you will be in danger of having your licence revoked and having to go through the testing phase again in order to earn your licence,” he added.
According to the NCSI, traffic accidents in June 2019 fell by 17.3 per cent compared to June 2018.
Executive list 32/2018 states that violations that could result in points being applied to your licence range from extreme speeding, parking in a spot reserved for people with disabilities, and parking on the side of the road for no reason.
According to the list: “Driving more than 75 km/hr above the speed limit is worth three points, 50 to 75 km/hr is worth one points, while driving less than 35 km/hr above the speed limit is worth a fine but no points, and driving so slowly so as to halt traffic is worth one point.
Parking offences are also detailed on the list. Parking on the side of the road for no reason will cost you one point, while parking in a disabled driver’s space is worth 2 points, and parking in a spot reserved for ambulances is worth one point. Parking on a sidewalk is a violation without any points being added. According to the order, passing people from the right (from outside the yellow lines) is worth two points, as is using the phone or other gadgets while driving. Since the system was put in place, traffic accidents have declined in Oman.
According to the NCSI, traffic accidents in June 2019 fell by 17.3 per cent compared to June 2018. Some 2,802 accidents occurred on the Sultanate’s roads in 2018, down from 3,845 accidents in 2017. As many as 396 Omanis and 239 expats lost their lives on the Sultanate’s roads in 2018.