Citizens and residents have welcomed the amendments to the Traffic Law (fine and jail for crossing flowing wadis), which came into effect from Thursday.
Among the stringent punishment (including imprisonment) and fines imposed on various traffic violations, it is the penalty imposed on motorists who deliberately try to cross wadis during rains and unpredictable weather conditions despite advance warnings. The new law states that there will be a prison sentence of up to three months and a fine of RO 500 for intentionally crossing valleys and putting the life of the individual as well as others at risk.
The Royal Oman Police and Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulances often forced to rescue people (including families) stranded in the flowing wadis during heavy rains. A fine of RO 300 has been also imposed on materials that fall out of trucks on main roads and compromise on the safety of fellow motorists.
An imprisonment of 10 days and a fine of RO 300 will be imposed on motorists who litter on the road and in public places from their vehicles. “These penalties may sound bit harsh, but they are necessary to make road travel a safe option in Oman. Any action on drunken driving and use of phones while driving is a welcome move,” said Ahmed al Rashdi, a resident of Amerat.
He added that it is common to find taxi drivers using phones extensively even while ferrying passengers. “Cabbies are responsible for the safety of their fellow passengers and they should be made accountable.” Sulaiman al Maqbali said that decisions that make our road safe and protect the youth of this country should be accepted with both hands. “The youth population is one of the key assets of Oman and we tend to continuously lose a large number of them in road accidents. Tough penalties were needed to curb drunken and driving through the wadis,” he said.