Muscat: Oman is planning to include Traffic Law in the curriculum of government and private institutions of higher education. Study of this law is being made compulsory by the Ministry of Higher Education.
An official at the ministry said the purpose was to increase awareness among youth and educate them as they are the most important section of the population and most vulnerable to road accidents. The step is expected to help reduce the high rate of road accidents in the country. Efforts to enhance awareness will also include activities like events and competitions involving students.
The plan may be implemented by next year in government and private higher educational institutions. Ahmed Al Harthi, a teacher in a private college, said the Ministry of Education should also include references to traffic in the curriculum for primary and secondary schools, thus catching them young when it comes to sensitising their minds to the perils of poor road safety habits.
Meanwhile, those violating the norms are set to face heftier penalties in the amended new Traffic Law.
"Heftier fines are being planned with the hope that these will help mould people's behaviour on the road. With stricter penalties, such as jail terms and monetary fines, people will think twice before committing an offence on the road. This will reduce major accidents that leave people dead or maimed for life on Oman roads," said Mohammed Al Wahaibi, a member of the legal committee of Majlis Al Shura.
More than 600,000 motorists were added to the number of those who broke the law last year when compared to 2012 with police handing out close to four million fines.
Fines top OMR32 million mark
According to the Royal Oman Police (ROP) figures, the number of traffic fines registered in 2013 was 3,889,301, compared to 3,239,953 in 2012, an increase of 20 per cent.
The maximum amount collected was for speeding with 3,254,799 fines, accounting for at least OMR32 million, considering OMR10 for each fine. Some speeding fines may reach the amount of OMR50.
More Omani nationals were killed than people of other nationalities last year with 593 deaths, followed by 247 deaths of people of other nationalities, 39 deaths of Arabs and 34 deaths of those from other GCC countries in 2013.
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