ROP to increase patrols during last days of

Ramadan to curb accidents on Oman’s roads

Such patrols are increased every year when Ramadan nears its end and festival shopping starts

 Muscat Daily – July 16 2014.
Muscat –

Keeping in mind the increased risk of accidents during Ramadan, the ROP has stepped up patrols throughout the sultanate. An official from ROP’s Directorate of Traffic said that it is especially during weekends and the days before Eid when there is an increase in traffic due to shoppers and increased police patrol is a must. “Usually, patrols are increased every year from the first day of Ramadan. However, the need for more vigil is during the last few days due to Eid shoppers.”

On other days of the month, there is little congestion on the roads as work timings for government and private offices are different. “We still have our men deployed, as people often stay up late and few could be sleepy when they drive back from their work,” he said, adding there are many Omanis with offices in Muscat trying to make it back to their wilayats in time for iftar on Thursdays. “This increases the rush on roads. Increased traffic and fatigue are factors that can lead to accidents,” he added.

The ROP has identified accident-prone areas and will accordingly deploy more personnel at these spots before Eid al Fitr when people will be shopping. “There will be more deployments especially near flyovers and roundabouts, besides highways,” he added. People have been advised not to rush during iftar. “Usually, everyone is in a hurry to reach home and break the fast with their family, but they should keep in mind that safety comes first,” the official said, urging people to take it easy.

Meanwhile, Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has also issued a mandatory Ramadan Road Safety Plan for its staff and contractors to minimise risk arising due to fatigue.

A statement said, ‘Remember, during Ramadan our daily routines are altered, especially for those who fast and suffer from low blood sugar levels and dehydration.

“In addition short nights mean less sleep that can lead to fatigue, inevitable distraction and stress. Please be extra cautious while driving and follow journey management procedures, avoiding unnecessary journeys and avoid driving when tired and distracted.’

PDO recommend its staff not to commute in private vehicles but instead use SP2000 compliant buses, the guidelines state. A majority of PDO road fatalities have involved people commuting in their private vehicles.

If emergency deliveries in the afternoon are a necessity, then it must be ensured that they are made by well-rested drivers. An important instruction given is that a driver must be off duty for eight hours before he is back on duty again. Two drivers should be used to share long journeys. Each driver must be assessed for behaviour and appearance and judged if fit to drive, the guidelines said.

Muscat Daily – July 16 2014.