Oman Road Safety Association (ORSA), the first and only registered non-governmental road safety organisation, recently participated in an awareness seminar organised by Team ‘Suroor’ as part of the ‘Your Safety Your Happiness’ campaign at Suroor School for Girls in the Wilayat of Samail.
In the presence of Royal Oman Police representatives, the seminar guests included students’ parents from a number of schools in the Wilayat as well as school bus drivers and teachers.
During her lecture on road safety awareness, Shaima Murtadha Al Lawati, ORSA Chief Executive Officer, stated the objectives of the association and its diverse range of activities. She also emphasised on the role of the community in leveraging and activating partnerships between the association and general public to further educate individuals on traffic etiquette and practices.
Shaima Al Lawati also touched upon the role of the Sultanate in activating the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020 which was officially launched on 5th March 2010. The Sultanate continues to develop its national plan to coordinate and implement activities supporting road safety at local, regional and international levels.
The Decade of Action for Road Safety offers a common road map for reaching the ambitious goal of reducing road traffic fatalities globally by 50 per cent. The implementation plan is guided by key pillars which include better road-safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road-user behaviour and better post-crash care.
Al Lawati added that basic principles and guidelines should be reintroduced especially in regards to speed control by saying, “Speed control and managements aims to decrease the number of traffic accidents and reduce serious injuries and deaths caused by reckless driving. Such an initiative would require a commitment by both public and private sectors to reinforce existing Government laws, overall infrastructure and further strengthen knowledge and raise awareness on this vital issue of concern.”
She added, “Our joint commitment and dedication towards deterring people from speeding will further reinforce the rules we must abide to as lawful citizens. In order to achieve such objectives we need to continue educating local communities and arming them with the knowledge advocacy tools required.” In line with the seminar’s agenda, Abdullah Juma Al Ghailani, Director of Traffic Department in Samail, also gave a lecture on road safety awareness.
ORSA was registered at the Ministry of Social Development on March 15th 2010. Its key activities involve training and capacity building, organising walks, and raising awareness campaigns targeting the general public as well as carrying out sustainable projects and surveys on road safety in partnership with a number of organisations.
Launched in October 2012, the traffic safety campaign currently being rolled out by Team ‘Suroor’ includes a number of awareness activities for youth on traffic laws and regulations.
The team’s objectives aim to serve the community through awareness initiatives and road safety education and transforming youth into ambassadors for the cause.
The campaign encourages youth to be active volunteers and community members who shed light on safe driving.
The seminar represents one of Oman Road Safety Association’s (ORSA) strategies to partner with fellow organisations to advocate for traffic safety and communicate the importance of awareness campaigns.