Road Safety in Oman is No Accident

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Every year, more than 1.2 million people are killed by road traffic injuries (RTIs) around the world; another 20 million to 50 million are injured or disabled. These numbers, which are provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), illustrate the growing magnitude of road traffic injuries.

In the Sultanate of Oman, road traffic crashes also constitute a major public health problem. Between 2000 and 2006, the Royal Oman Police reported close to 5,000 deaths on the Sultanate’s roads. An additional 55,000 were injured during this time. These numbers are alarming for a country with a population only slightly over two million. In 2005, police sources estimated that road crash mortality rate in Oman was 28 per 100,000 population, which is 1.5 times the global average of 19 per 100,000. These deaths represent not only the individual loss of human life, but also familial breadwinners, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and children.

Clearly the time is now to address this problem. 2011 marks the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety and sets the stage for Oman to address this mounting burden. A current intervention being explored in the Omani Majlis Al’Dawla would step-up current police enforcement measures. Additional traffic officers will police Oman’s roads and enforce tougher legislation aimed at drivers and passengers. Seatbelt use would become compulsory for all vehicle passengers and speed limits more strictly enforced. These seemingly small changes have big effects. For every 1km/h reduction in average speed, there is a 2% reduction in the number of crashes while wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of death among front-seat passengers by 40-65% and by 25-75% among rear-seat passengers.

Contact the Majlis Al’Dawla to show your support for this policy and save lives.  After all, road safety in Oman is no “accident.”

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One Response to “Road Safety in Oman is No Accident”

  1. sbfphc Says:

    Those who are interested in this issue and want to follow it globally get in touch with the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit http://www.jhsph.edu/IIRU. To subscribe to news listserve either daily or weekly, please email IIRU@jhsph.edu. Join them on Facebook and Twitter.

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