Expats to renew driving licences every two years from March 1: ROP
New drivers will be issued only temporary driving licences valid for 12 months
From March 1, new driving licences issued to expatriates will have to be renewed every two years, the ROP announced on Monday.
However, expats who currently have licences valid for ten years will have to renew it only after the expiry of their current licence. The announcement was made at a press conference by Brig Gen Eng Mohammed bin Awadh al Rawas, Director General of Traffic on Monday.
Other changes include the introduction of a black point system for new drivers. New drivers in Oman will be issued temporary driving licences for 12 months under a probation scheme.
According to the ROP, drivers who get more than ten black points on their temporary driving licences will have to take more driving lessons.
Temporary driving licences will be extended by only one year for a new driver who earns more than seven black points in a year.
However, Omani drivers who do not get more than six black points during the probation period will be issued a driving li- cence valid for ten years.
Usage of seatbelts has been made mandatory for all passengers in a vehicle. ROP has said that all passengers inside a vehicle will have to wear seatbelts, including those sitting in the backseat.
Currently, it is compulsory for only passengers sitting in the front seats to wear seatbelts. Also, child restraints have been made mandatory for children under four years.
Other changes include hefty penalties for serious traffic offences. There has been an increase in fines for 52 offences including a hike in the penalty for parking in spaces meant for the disabled, which has been increased from RO10 to RO50.
Truck drivers overtaking other vehicles will also have to pay a fine of RO50. A fine of RO50 will also be imposed on drivers [including women] who cover their faces while driving.
In a new development, women will also be allowed to drive taxis from March 1.
Inset: Brig Gen Eng Mohammed bin Awadh al Rawas speaks at the press conference on Monday