Are you worried when your child is travelling in a school bus? How safe are they aboard these buses or while alighting? On Monday, a six year old girl died after being run over by a bus in Seeb while she was crossing a street after alighting from a school bus.
In this regard, the ROP has called all motorists to be responsible and exercise caution. “Bus drivers need to be more responsible and make sure that students disembark from their buses safely. They need to exercise maximum caution while transporting children,” an ROP official told Muscat Daily.
He said that motorists need to take extra care especially in residential areas where children can be seen playing near their houses. “Adhering to the speed limit is a must.”
Safety first To protect children better, everyone needs to do their bit. “Drivers, parents, school management need to keep an eye on children. They need to teach children road etiquettes like things to keep in mind while alighting and crossing the road. Taking care of children is the responsibility of all,” Eng Ali al Barwani, a road safety expert and member of the Oman Road Safety Association, said.
Barwani said there is a need for accountability too. “Awareness is not enough. Authorities need to investigate how such accidents keep happening. Children need to be dropped at the right place. Children should never be allowed to cross roads alone at any cost. This death is everyone’s loss and such accidents are becoming frequent. We are just in the beginning of a new academic year.”
This is the second time this academic year that an incident concerning a child has occurred. Two weeks ago, a four year old girl, who was left behind in a school bus in Rustaq for around five hours, died in a hospital.
Barwani said that there is a need to reconsider the way these children are transported to and from schools. “We have to look at the pick and drop timings to keep tab on the arrival of childdren at schools and homes. Motorists in residential areas must ensure that the speed is not more than 30km per hour.”
There are reports of some drivers speeding even in residential areas which many say is a threat to children’s lives. “They forget that at any moment, children can cross roads. There is a need for drivers to consider the way they drive,” Amour al Tauqi, an Amerat resident, said.
To curb such a habit, Muscat Municipality has installed speed limit signs in many areas. “The municipality has done its bit to inform the public by putting speed limit road signs in residential areas. Most of them limit the speed to 20km/hr,” a Muscat Municipality official said.