It will come as no surprise to those who regularly drive on the Sultanate’s roads, but the police have revealed that the majority of accidents are caused by excessive speed.
While a tougher stance on speeding and more speed cameras have helped to slow down traffic, the message is still not getting through to enough drivers, particularly younger ones.
Figures released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) earlier this year showed a decline in road accidents, but there were still 5,768 recorded in 2014, resulting in 816 deaths. Traffic can often be seen gridlocked on Muscat’s busier roads such as Sultan Qaboos Highway as emergency services attend to the scene of an incident.
Royal Oman Police (ROP) attributes the decrease to combined efforts of driver education and stricter enforcement. However, many people have been calling on the ROP to conduct checks on automobile dealers, believing that technical faults in the cars sold were to blame for many accidents.
In response to the calls, the ROP have completed an investigation and recently revealed that while technical faults are to blame in some cases, the majority of accidents on the Sultanate’s roads were caused by excessive speed.
“We have registered very few cases where a faulty part of a vehicle has been the cause, but mostly it is speeding,” an ROP official told a local newspaper this week.
In an attempt to allay the concerns of citizens, the official went on to explain that stringent checks are made on vehicles more than a decade old when it comes to their re-registration. “If the vehicle has technical issues, faulty parts or has suffered any damage, the ROP will not do its registration,” he said.
The Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) has pointed out that if the owner of the car feels a faulty part was responsible for the accident, he or she would be within their rights to approach their insurance company and the dealership from which they brought the car seeking compensation.
According to an official from the PACP, around 208,888 vehicles were recalled in order to test for general technical faults. Many common faults were again linked to driving too fast and included fuel leakages, defects in the gearbox and technical defects due to a sudden increase in a vehicle’s speed or sudden breaking.