‘Law re­quired for back-seat pas­sen­gers to buckle up’

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Shad­dad al Musalmy

ORSA has said there must be a law for back-seat pas­sen­gers to belt up. It has also called for a law on mak­ing child seats manda­tory

De­spite the tremen­dous im­prove­ments made over the past few years in re­duc­ing road ac­ci­dents, Oman Road Safety As­so­ci­a­tion (ORSA) has said there must be a law for back-seat pas­sen­gers to belt up. ORSA has also called for a law on mak­ing child seats manda­tory.

At present, it is only manda­tory for front-seat pas­sen­ger to buckle up. Ac­cord­ing to ORSA, the law will help re­duce the num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties. “Rear-seat pas­sen­gers who do not wear seat belts put their lives in dan­ger. Most in­juries sus­tained in road ac­ci­dents can be avoided by buck­ling up,” Ali al Bar­wani, CEO, ORSA told Mus­cat Daily.

He said the idea be­hind the manda­tory buck­ling up is to pre­vent the pas­sen­ger from be­ing thrown out in case of a se­vere ac­ci­dent. “When an ac­ci­dent oc­curs, a speed­ing ve­hi­cle would come to a sud­den halt thereby max­imis­ing in­juries to those who are not buck­led up.”

Some driv­ers that Mus­cat Daily spoke to said that they never tell their rear pas­sen­gers to buckle up. “I am more con­cerned about the front-seat pas­sen­ger. If I no­tice he or she has not put on seat belt, I im­me­di­ately in­struct the pas­sen­ger to do so. It’s not a law for rear pas­sen­gers to buckle up,” Ad­nan Rashid, a taxi driver, said.

Many pas­sen­gers too feel that it is not nec­es­sary to do so. “I think one is safe in rear seats even with­out a seat belt. Mak­ing it a law to do so is not nec­es­sary,” Mubarak al Dhawi, a pas- sen­ger, said.

ORSA is also call­ing the au­thor­i­ties to make the use of child car seat a law. “We are re­quest­ing the con­cerned au­thor­i­ties to look into the mat­ter. At the same time we will con­tinue spread­ing aware­ness about child car seats.”

Lat­est fig­ures from the Na­tional Cen­tre for Sta­tis­tics and In­for­ma­tion (NCSI) show that 1,989 road ac­ci­dents were re­ported from Jan­uary to June this year com­pared to 2,430 in the same pe­riod last year. NCSI recorded 314 fa­tal­i­ties from Jan­uary to June this year com­pared to 336 in the same pe­riod last year. “Even though there is a drop in ac­ci­dents, this is not enough. Many of the ac­ci­dents could have been avoided. We are ask­ing for de­tails of all the ac­ci­dents that take place so that peo­ple get to know how they hap­pen and learn from them,” Bar­wani added.

Pho­to­graph for il­lus­tra­tive pur­pose only

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