Muscat: A 16-year-old sand dune rider died after he toppled over in the Bausher Sands last Friday. The buggy he was riding in was not equipped with safety equipment and had been taken from a shop. Ziyad, the victim, lost control of his buggy while climbing the sands, said reports.
As a reaction to the accident, many of the dunes sport fans and Bausher residents plan to gather tomorrow in the Bausher Sands area holding aloft banners to press for a stop to reckless riding of buggies and to check loss of any more lives. The dune-riding sport has been witnessing a growth with young people and adolescents indulging in it for the sheer thrill and excitement in their leisure time.
Bausher Sands is one of the hot spots for the youth and adolescents to spend their time riding in sand buggies.
Many shops rent out such sand buggies to these enthusiasts and they are usually equipped with safety devices. But with the increasing demand, and due to a proclivity to take more risks, there have been numerous accidents in the past.
An owner of a sand buggy shop explained, "We provide all the paraphernalia necessary for the dunes riders, including helmets, knee caps, shoulder pads, appropriate shoes, as well as some useful tips. We also ensure regular maintenance to reduce accidents and threat of serious injuries."
He added that they have set many norms, including one about residential areas being strictly off limits.
Also, the shop owners do not permit riders under the age of 18 and insist on age proof.
"Despite all this, many riders do not adhere to the norms and indulge in recklessness. Many of them refuse to wear safety equipment," he complained.