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October 18th 2009HM meets with Al Batinah, Musandam shaikhs, dignitaries. Self-inflicted disability incurs personal, social burdens. Make awareness about road safety an issue in daily discussions. Road accidents, a tax of progress, should be considered seriously. Authorities concerned instructed to intensify road safety efforts. Goal of comprehensive development will continue. Ministers directed to study citizens’ requirements.

SOHAR

His Majesty Sultan Qaboos met at Seeh al Makarim in the Wilayat of Sohar yesterday with shaikhs and dignitaries from the wilayats of Al Batinah region and Musandam Governorate as part of the Royal meet-the-people tour. During his meeting with citizens, His Majesty the Sultan touched on a number of issues of concern to Oman and its citizens. Giving thanks and praise to the Almighty, His Majesty the Sultan gave a Royal speech on road accidents and their impact on social life. His Majesty said that misuse of vehicles is an irritating habit and a cause of many deaths.

His Majesty said, “While we believe that life and death are destined by Allah, we know that the Almighty has ordained that people should not cast themselves on perils. While some may die in these accidents, others who survive may be disabled and a burden for themselves, their families and their society. Therefore, we should join hands and beware of this issue.”

During his speech to the citizens, His Majesty the Sultan urged everyone to make this issue the subject of talk with families. Road safety should be discussed and public awareness should be stressed in order to limit the phenomenon (road accidents), which is a tax for what is called progress, growth and civilization (modernisation), said His Majesty. “Each thing has a tax, but this kind of tax should be seriously considered”, His Majesty added.

His Majesty the Sultan affirmed in his speech to the citizens that the authorities concerned, especially the Royal Oman Police, are carrying out their duties and raising public awareness. They will do more as they have instructions to intensify efforts for addressing this undesired phenomenon (road accidents), which should be limited as much as possible.

His Majesty said in this respect, “These issues (road accidents) may be attributed to a number of reasons, but the human factor is the main contributor. It may be negligence in maintaining one’s vehicle or a desire to reach one’s destination as fast as possible. But it is better to reach safe than on a stretcher or ending up at the emergency department in hospitals.”

His Majesty, underscoring the importance of road safety, said, “I put this issue in this way and advise everyone to attach great importance to it. It is no doubt that all sectors of the Omani society are listening to what I am saying from this blessed place. This is one of the issues that the Omani society is still suffering from.”

Summing up his speech, His Majesty the Sultan thanked Allah and stressed the fact that the Omani society has a great deal of awareness, culture and knowledge of the different issues and that Oman proceeds with steady strides towards growth, progress and prosperity. His Majesty the Sultan pleaded to the Almighty to grant everyone pardon and health.

After delivering his Royal speech, His Majesty the Sultan listened to the needs of the citizens who spoke about the requirement of their wilayats for development. In this unique kind of open dialogue between the leader and the people, His Majesty the Sultan affirmed that the goal of comprehensive development will continue to be achieved in the Sultanate for the welfare and prosperity of the Omani citizens.

His Majesty the Sultan gave his Royal directives to the ministers accompanying him during the current annual meet-the-people tour to study the requirements and work accordingly. His Majesty the Sultan later listened to a poem by one of the poets who expressed gratitude and appreciation to His Majesty the Sultan. The poem highlighted the achievements made in the Sultanate in the blessed reign of His Majesty the Sultan. The public meeting with His Majesty the Sultan was attended by ministers, advisers and walis of the Al Batinah region and Musandam Governorate. — ONA

Road accidents statistics at a glance

His Majesty, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, in an address to the nation on October 18, 2009 during his annual Meet the People Tour, urged his government and society to come together to put an end to the high toll of death and disability on Oman’s roads. Check out our blog http://www.salimandsalimah.org/blog/ for more on Oman road deaths

HM Speech on Road Safety 2

His Majety gave a short speech, that was aired on the radio & television, during his annual tour to the wilyats of the Sultanate in Sohar’s Saih Al-Makarim. His Majesty briefly spoke about the frequently discussed issue of road safety & the alarmingly high rate of accidents in the Sultanate.

 The speech touched on the ways that road accidents burden society, and how combating traffic accidents should be an effort not only from the authorities, but also from drivers. His Majesty detailed the need to promote a more aware driving culture that properly contemplates the perils of negligent & careless driving in contrast with the exponential increase of risk that such negligence leads to.

His majesty’s speech should lead the Royal Oman Police, emergency services and media platforms to play a more active role in decreasing the number of accidents, and increasing the efficiency procedures that ensue should an accident fatefully occur. Perhaps, the speech will inspire more initiatives. Recently, the ROP issued a directive decreeing that no vehicle traveling on the Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar road may carry more than five passengers.

Despite there being an active step to decreasing fatalities on that road, directives like these only reduce the risk associated should an accident occur, no it’s chance of happening. It remains that awareness is the best deterrant/avoiding mechanism to tackle this issue. After today’s speech, it’s also anticipated that the Public Persecution office will be enforcing more of the 7th Chapter of the road & traffic regulations that detail retributive prison sentences, along with fines to serious traffic offenses.

The Royal Oman Police has recently announced that during the period between the 1st of January this year, and the 17th of October there was a total of 5895 accidents, which have resulted in 788 fatalities and 7998 injuries. A decrease in the number of accidents from last year (although those numbers cannot be final until year’s end) but already a higher rate of fatalities. The latest statistics from the ROP also sate that 87% of road accidents are caused by driving errors, and that a larger percentage of those are caused by excessive speed.

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