Monday, April 02, 2007

TimesofOman.com: Rage on the roads

My new article has been published in TimesofOman.com website.

The article is under the title: Rage on the roads.

Feel free to comment on it and to express your views as you want but in a constructive manner.

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Rage on the roads


Let's just ask ourselves – in all honesty – if the 'road rage' issue has deterred over the past years in any way. We still see people who drive their cars as if they were in a race between life and death. Petrol tankers that over-speed their allowed limits just to overtake other 'slow' traffic so that they can meet their deadlines with a 'How's my driving?' sign printed on their backs. It's as if the radar cameras that were installed all over the Sultanate are there for the sake of sightseers.

The problem with automobile drivers in the Sultanate is that there is a fear of the law rather than the demanded respect that is much needed. People flash by radar cameras if there were no police vehicles to stop them in that part of the road. But place a police car in that same place and all of a sudden everyone on the road becomes a law-abiding and obedient driver on that part of the highway or service road.

This kind of misbehavior is not just restricted to the highways but also to the service roads where drivers act like they own the road flashing their full lights to overtake other God-fearing folk and possibly causing irreparable and sometimes fatal damage to any other vehicles coming in the opposite direction.

The Royal Oman Police has done its best and more to try to stop the situation from escalating. But you still see people from both genders violating basic road laws like talking on their mobile phones; or not wearing their seatbelts; or having their lights switched off at night-time; and changing lanes without indicating to which direction they are heading.

It's these simple basic mistakes that the public, in general – without restriction of one nationality to another – commit these road crimes.

So how do we solve this problem?

Obviously, the people who are caught in this 'road rage' business are the types who are foolish enough to endanger not only their own lives but also the lives of their fellow drivers, bystanders and even pedestrians alike.

One solution could be is to constantly monitor all the major roads that have a high ratio of accidents (i.e.: both highways and service roads). A new culture must be adapted into the driving license acquisition process, with more stringent examination methods to allow the individual who applied for it to learn to respect the law as well as to fear it by not crossing over the allowed borders.

In the end, these are mere recommendations to this dilemma that the Sultanate is going through that could be fit enough to be a solution. But the decision – ultimately – is up to the authorities to decide upon.

(The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of timesofoman.com)

3 comments:

Per Your Request said...

Its either people perceive the trouble (ticket, time) of being stopped by the policy to be too low or the probability of being stopped is too low. Each one requires a different policy; the first would require a higher penalty, while the second requires more Policy patrols around town.

OmanforLife said...

Personally, I think it starts with the instructors that are teaching people to drive. Have you ever seen one of these cars, with the instructor driving (no student driver plate on), pull out in front of traffic? There need to stronger government regulations on these types of "schools". Anyone can get a teaching permit...trust me. The brilliant (insert sarcasm) lady that taught my sister needs to have it revoked. Telling a woman that she can pull out in front of a man simply because she is a woman is not exactly one of the rules of the road. Simple rules and organization would do the trick.
As far as enforcing, I would agree that there needs to be physical authority on the roads. Fear strikes when you see the flashing car lights...not the flashing camera lights.

Sleepless In Muscat said...

per your request:

i agree. but both need more stringent methods of tackle to stop the idiots from driving like maniacs.

OmanForLife:

I thought you had left my blog forever for some reason since I never saw your comments anymore.

And I agree with you totally. That's got nothing to do with basic road rules. That person's training license and her driving license should both be revoked. Because it's people like her that put dimwits (excluding your sister) on the road with bad driving skills.

PS: Please register your nickname at blogspot. I am stopping anonymous comments from now on. I'm sorry. But I've gotten tired of people who leave dumb comments as if it was a 'hit and run' just because they feel like it.