Oman lost more than 580 lives in road deaths in 2017 (Jan-Nov), according to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). It recorded a 5.8 per cent decrease compared to the same period in 2016.
The traffic laws in Oman have become stricter than before. Lazy, irresponsible and rash motorists will have to improve their road manners to avoid being fined or, worse, jailed.
The process has been set in motion with the announcement of temporary driving licences. This means that new drivers will be issued a temporary driving licence for a period of one year (12 months) under a new probation scheme.
The law will come into effect from March 1, according to an announcement made by the Royal Oman Police on January 29.
The licences will also be subjected to a new points system which will keep track of whether the drivers are doing it right on the roads.
According to the ROP, if a driver gets more than 10 ‘black’ points on their temporary driving licence, they will be sent back to the driving school to take more lessons.
Temporary driving licences will be extended by one year against any new driver who clocks up more than seven ‘black’ points a year. However, good drivers get a full 10-year driving licence if they don’t exceed six black points during their probation period.
Expatriates will now have to renew their driving licences every two years.
“Those who already have a 10-year licence will not be affected until they have to renew them,” said Brigadier Mohammed Awadh al Rowas, Director General of Traffic.
The ROP has also added new violations to the existing traffic law in an effort to make driving safer in the Sultanate. In all, 52 new violations have been added to the traffic law, said Al Rawas.
The new amendments, first issued in August 2016, will come into effect from March 1, 2018.
Moreover, fines for 13 traffic violations will increase, including parking in spaces reserved for the handicapped, overtaking trucks in illegal areas, covering the face in a way that prevents police from identifying the driver, and other offences. These violations will attract a fine of RO50.
Oman’s NCSI data shows a remarkable 18.4 dip in number of car accidents in 2017. The number of accidents recorded was 3,478 against 4,260 in 2016. period in 2016.