As the Sultanate of Oman searches for ways to diversify its economy from its current heavy reliance on its petroleum reserves, the country’s transportation infrastructure has been modernized and far more Omanis are driving today than in the past. Unfortunately, Oman also has one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world and nearly half of the fatalities caused by traffic accidents involve young people under the age of 25 years. In response to these alarming trends, the Royal Omani Police have launched a series of initiatives, some in partnership with the private sector, that are intended to raise public awareness about the problem and reduce traffic accidents in the Sultanate. The Royal Oman Police (hereinafter alternatively “ROM”) have been formally tasked with addressing the country’s inordinately high traffic accident rates. 1. Technical inspection of vehicles: Fourteen safety inspection stations have been installed around the country to ensure that vehicles’ safety features are operational and the vehicles are safe to operate on Omani highways and roads.

These safety inspection stations are authorized by chapter two of the Sultanate’s Traffic Law. 2. Deployment of speed control devices (radar) for traffic control. To date, the ROM has succeeded in installing and/or operating fixed and mobile services on most public streets in the various governorates of the Sultanate. 3. Institute for Traffic Safety. The goal of this initiative is to conduct training courses, seminars and conferences and the implementation of traffic safety awareness programs. These programs included rehabilitation training for taxi drivers and drivers of both light and heavy vehicles. 4. Expansion of Ambulance Services. The Royal Oman Police have expanded ambulance operations to parts of the country that lacked these services in the past in an effort to further reduce the casualties caused by traffic accidents. 5. Safety Convoy. This convoy is comprised of three buses that travel to the governorates of the Sultanate in an effort to raise awareness concerning the need for traffic safety throughout all segments of Omani society.

The current organizational structure of the Royal Oman Police is depicted in Figure 1 at Appendix a. Today, Oman suffers from one of highest traffic accident levels in the entire world. Statistics compiled by the Royal Oman Police show that fully 42 per cent of the fatalities and injured in traffic accidents in the Sultanate involve young people under the age of 25 years. The majority of the accidents involving young children resulted from the lack of use of restraints such as children’s car seats (for very young children) and safety belts (for older children). As a result, the majority of injuries in this population resulted from being thrown threw vehicle windows, injured by being violently tossed about within the vehicle, or crushed by adults who were holding them. During the period 2000 to 2008, almost 6,000 Omani men, women and children died in traffic accidents, 70,000 have been injured and many of these injuries resulted in permanent disabilities.

A summary of Omani traffic statistics for 2010 is set forth in Table 1 below. As can be seen from Table 1 above, there were 7,719 total accidents in Oman in 2010, resulting in 1,056 deaths and 11,437 total casualties. These alarming traffic accident rates are attributable in part to the modernization of Oman’s transportation infrastructure. Source: Based on tabular data in Martin, 2005, p. In sum, Oman has a modern transportation infrastructure that is conducive to road safety but there remains a glaring need to educate the driving public concerning traffic safety. In the world of aviation accidents are bound to happen, given the large number of take offs and landings that take place each day. American airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world. The frustration is all too common. What use to be referred to as a traffic accident investigation is giving way to the more modern terminology of vehicle crash investigation. Listen to our radio ad!

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