A video taken by the passenger of an inter-city Mwasalat bus, which shows the bus driver using his mobile phone at the wheel, has gone viral since its release on social media last week.
It is also clear that the bus driver was not using a seatbelt at the time the video was taken.
Mwasalat released a statement confirming that the driver, who is clearly seen scrolling through his phone with one hand nonchantly on the wheel, is an employee of the national transport company.
A statement released by the company stated: “The company takes responsibility for the action shown on the video that is considered an ‘individual act’ which does not represent the rest of the driver’s colleagues and does not follow the company’s policy and operational procedures.
“The company implements all traffic safety precautions as well as enrols the drivers in a thorough training regimen.”
The company added that it would be implementing “maximum punishment” on the driver for exposing the passengers to a great amount of danger.
Mwasalat also urged people to notify the authorities through social media if they encountered similar incidents in the future.
The presence of social media has become a useful tool to highlight incidents of bad driving acrosss the country, providing instant evidence and a quick and efficient medium of communication between companies and ministries.
Mwasalat has itself turned to social media to highlight the issue of motorists parking their vehicles in designated bus stations when it recently posted a photo of the violation.
In response, the Royal Oman Police’s (ROP) Traffic Department has confirmed that parking in designated bus stops is illegal and a traffic violation.
The ROP then also shared an image of police patrolling near a bus stop in Muscat, captioned: “Police officers are keeping a close eye on the bus stops for motorists who hinder the buses’ movement.”
Motorists caught parking their vehicles in bus stops will face fines of RO15.