Accidents involving school transport can be avoided with better and more rigorous checks. In about a fortnight four children lost their lives, while 27 others sustained moderate to serious injuries in school vehicle crashes. Muscat Daily spoke to several people across the society to know what can be done to avoid such mishaps.
Nasser al Husani, a driving instructor insisted on regular vehicular checks. “A bus driver should get his vehicle checked regularly, especially those operating in mountainous areas such as Jebel Akhdar where the terrain is tricky. Children can be deemed safe only if school transport has the requisite safety features.”
Offering condolences to the parents of the children, Oman Road Safety Association, CEO, Ali al Barwani, said, “Unfortunately, in less than two weeks, two accidents have occurred. Traffic safety is a culture which needs greater attention of all officials in Oman. For example, the oil and gas sector has succeeded in the safety aspect by bringing about more awareness through lectures or brochures. This should be practised across schools and universities.” Barwani also suggested special course for bus drivers.
“Bus drivers must obtain a special licence proving that they have undergone a special course in traffic safety. The driver must also inspect the vehicle especially the tyres. An accident can happen due to many reasons, but the driver is the most responsible for passenger safety.” Barwani also suggested a special course for all school bus drivers that should be conducted by the Ministry of Education (MoE).
Meanwhile, MoE in a statement on the traffic accident that occurred last week confirmed that it is following up with the concerned authorities regarding the details of the accident involving students of Abizaid al Rayami School for Basic Education in Jebel Akhdar.
The ministry also expressed condolence to the parents of the deceased students. Last week, three children were killed and ten others injured when a school bus they were travelling in lost control in Jebel Akhdar. A similar accident took place on February 20 in Ibri. It resulted in the death of a five year old girl and caused injuries to 17 other children between the ages of four and five.