Decade of Action for road safety
By staff - Mon May 16, 7:01 am
MUSCAT — His Highness Sayyid Kamil bin Fahd bin Mahmood al Said, Patron of Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA), endorsed the Tag for the Decade of Action (2011-2020) to mark the beginning of a chain of activities under the association’s theme: ‘Time for Action’ at Grand Hyatt Hotel yesterday.
HH Sayyid Kamil said: “I think it’s time to say ‘enough is enough’ on accidents and fatalities on our roads. We must put this to an end, once and for all. Let’s take this action from Decade One that will be remembered for generations to come. “Remember that anyone of us can make mistakes, but all of us can put an end to it by joining hands and promoting greater awareness — we can make a difference.
“Oman’s role in global road safety is a definite one and there is no question about it. And, with the wise vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the social task to work for road safety at the national, regional and global level is unmistakable. “We in Oman and on behalf of the civil society, endorse this decade of action and I strongly recommend wearing the Decade of Action Tag, by believing and combined with your action, the possibility will be achieved,” he said.
In his remarks on whether more stringent punishment to traffic offenders should be applied to violators of the traffic safety, he emphasised that definitely, offenders should be seriously dealt with to reduce and to a certain extent put an end to offences that risk the lives of other road-users, he said in a statement to the Observer.
Meanwhile, seven people died and 30 others were injured in 13 road accidents in different parts of the Sultanate on Saturday, according to the statistics of the Royal Oman Police (ROP). The ROP has urged motorists to avoid speeding and overtaking in non-overtaking areas and stick to all traffic regulations.
Earlier, in his message, Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, said: The launch of the campaign on road safety is significantly important for our lives specifically that road accidents are the major killers of young individuals all over the world.
“We in the Sultanate support the actions of the decade and are committed to its goals. The MoH in collaboration with all partners in the Sultanate is committed to work towards the implementation of the plan of action for reduction of road accidents and also prepared all our institutions to look after the victims of this problem, which is extremely a great burden,” he stated.
Also speaking on the occasion, Dr Wahid bin Ali al Kharusi, Chairman of ORSA, stressed on the significance of this momentous and historical week on the launch of the actions of the Decade.
“The Decade is a platform for advocacy, monitoring and it gives two member states of the UN to prepare the Attention National Plan on road safety to cut down fatalities, injuries and disabilities.
“In these 10 years, we not only want to cut down the percentage of accidents or the number of fatalities, injuries and disabilities, but we also want the civil society and the policy-makers to understand the negative impacts that road accidents are causing.
“We not only want to reduce the number of those affected on the roads, but also want people and our roads to be safe. We want the vulnerable user to use the roads without fear because they will be protected if all individuals understand the issues related to road safety.
“It is significantly important to work within the guidelines of the framework of the Decade and the five pillars through concerted efforts of all by compliance. So, with the launch of the Tag of the Decade we need to ‘believe, commit ourselves and act’ — to achieve the results of the Decade and to bare in mind that we have a responsibility and task to make our roads safer,” emphasised Al Kharusi.
It took almost a year, to decide the precise features of the Tag and its means of licencing and distribution on the global scale, said Al Kharusi adding that “the Sultanate is among the only three countries all over the world that has been licensed to manufacture this respective Tag on condition that it is not sold and its standard features should accordingly be maintained to the same.
“The Tag can either be worn or be suspended or be used as a key holder for promotion of the decade. However, we need the support of the private sector and other stake holders to sponsor and step in for the manufacture of the Tag for distribution for awareness programmes of the civil society,” said Al Kharusi.
In his speech, Al Kharusi, highlighted on the expectations of the Decade with a desire to see empty hospital beds, ensure that the disabled victims of road crashes are well rehabilitated and are socially reintegrated into the society.
He also touched on ORSA’s business plans and programs in relation to the framework of the decade to develop a strong and solid working relationship with all the stakeholders and to represent the Sultanate’s civil society as well as to think globally but act locally.
On program of plans for instance includes a priority for capacity building of target groups of the youth between 14 to 18 years of age in preparing them to be responsible and careful road users through educational and other awareness programmes.
He also urged the civil society to make the roads safer for all children and to respect their right to live and a right for a bright future, stated the official.
Buthain bint Haroon al Kindi, Director of Road Safety Research Programme, Research Council, shed light on the research themes of study and solutions ranging from crash analysis to behaviour and social issues, legal and compliance issues, and trauma care services as significant areas of focus on addressing road safety in the Sultanate. (With inputs from ONA)