Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Deadly Omanization

Is it just me or has the recent "Omanization" of commercial driving jobs lead to an increased risk on our roads?

Sometimes it seems like the bigger the truck, the crazier the Omani driver inside it is driving. Don't these people realize that the dynamics are totally different when they're driving huge trucks and it's not the same as when they are in their Toyota Echos? You see huge fuel tankers overtaking cars on the third lane and gas cylinder delivery truck speeding with their rear gates open and the cylinders being held only with flimsy ropes while the driver has a bunch of his friends next to him with their feet up on the dashboard as if they were lounging at home. Even worse is that these maniacs know that we're scared of them and they use it to their advantage. They don't care about stop signs. They don't even slow down for roundabouts.. They just drive on. They know that you'll stop and give way to them even if the right of way is yours.

Two days ago I saw a school buses zoom through a red light at the busy intersection next to Star Cinema. It was overfilled with kids at twice or three times the actual bus capacity and when the bus got near me I noticed that the driver wasn't even wearing a seatbelt. The dude has no value on his own life and yet he's being entrusted with the lives of about 50 kids on a daily basis. Yesterday OD was almost driven by off the road by a mini bus belonging to a Quran school!

Where are the police in all this? What are they doing about this problem?


Sleepless In Muscat said...

muscati: i am with you on this 1 million percent..

truck drivers are overtaking in busy lanes as if they don't understand that there are other cars behind them going faster than they are. plus they only overtake other trucks because they want to be in the front.. like 2-3 minutes is really going to affect their schedule..

i was coming out of a hospital checkup one day, and i heard that there had been a colision between a school bus (large one) and a taxi..

thankfully no one was hurt in the accident. but i am guessing the trama of the accident will have itself printed into the minds of those youngsters and make that Omani driver think twice when he's overtaking..

illogicist said...

I'd have to agree as well...whats to be done? Well, if everyone of us made the effort (and it isnt easy) to report these incidents - call up the school that bus is for, the company that the trucks are for, etc. - and complain as loudly as we can, we might be able to make a difference.

The only other way I can think of is to wait for all these guys to get killed in horrible road accidents. The only problem is that they'll take innocents with them.

OceanDream said...

The moron who almost ran me off the road should be fired. There is no way this man should remain as a bus driver and be responsible for the lives of school children. Its horrific to think of. Mux told me that there were no specifics required when you hire a bus driver for a school They probably just require a license. I think this should be changed. Not anyone should be entrusted with children's lives.

mirage said...

Muscati I am lurker here with you, love catching up on your blog but rarely post but today is different.

My brother-in-law's brother was mowed down on the side of the road while talking to another friend a few weeks ago.

Why, because the driver lost control of his truck and could not handle it. Yep, unofficially we have been told this is becoming a problem with inexperienced young Omani truck drivers.

Days ago I had a guy almost run me off the road in his new truck, and you know what ... he just smiled (like victory).

I am sick of fearing for the life of my child (who is strapped into his car seat at least).

There should be a dob-in line with the ROP. I try to look for company names and phone numbers on trucks but so few have them where you can see them (or different company names that you can never track). Come on CEO's and Managers, How about putting the "if you are not happy with my driving please call 24XXXXXX" on the back of the trucks like they have in many other countries.

Winger said...

This is a particularly dangerous by product of enforced Omanisation. We see it in the poor service we increasingly get in the small grocery shops etc. Jobs should be Omanised only when sufficient numbers of 'qualified' Omanis exist. And as for school kids, they should have additional passenger/advanced driving tests for those who want to apply for driving school buses, together with say a minimum of 5 years 'clean' (no fault) accidents.

Tracy & John said...

Hey guys and Girls,

What about some real training for these guys not to mention a system like in the UK were points for dangerous driving are done. Over 10 points then your license is taken away.

I'd love to see this for all people driving in Oman.

I wonder if this would stop people from speeding and tail gating?

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