The onset of September 2016 has seen the expected traffic rule changes in Oman. With the hope of curbing accidents and loss of lives due to erring motorists, the fines for each traffic violations have now blown up into amounts that not only hurt the pockets of offenders but could also mean loss of jobs.
So hopefully in the coming days, there shall more order on the roads knowing that motorists will now think twice in committing violations. This is of course a welcome and commendable move from the authorities, who are only concerned on preventing unnecessary accidents.
But at the back of it all, are some questions that had to be answered, like -
What is the demographics of traffic offenders? Age? Nationality? Profession?
Which areas are commonly hit by vehicle accidents?
Which period/time of the day do accidents happen?
These are vital information that have to be addressed along with the imposition of the rules because knowledge is more difficult to alter than awareness.
In a study entitled, "Stop, Look and Listen: An assessment on media’s role and significance in the formation of road safety practices of youth drivers in Metro Manila"
"The study found that Metro Manila youth drivers were highly aware of road safety practices, but not necessarily completely knowledgeable. It was similarly revealed they had positive road safety attitudes and practices. Moreover, attitudes on road safety were found to be weak determinants of road safety practices."
That is to say, even if a motorist is aware of road safety practices, he may not be completely knowlegeable regarding the rules- which may cause the violation of the rules.
In simple terms, if Driver X passes along road ABC; of which Driver X is aware that there is a speed limit. However, Driver X does not know where speed limits start and end.
Thus, there will be more contentions on the implications of the traffic rules. But hopefully, as we go along the quest for a safer road experience, there will be improvements in terms of better traffic flow and zero accidents.