New law: 10 days in the clink for using phone while driving

Regular readers of ze blog will know that I've written about the chaotic state of driving in the Sultanate a few times before, with my last post on the issue attracting more than a few comments from observers.

Which is why I'd like to share this story from today's Times of Oman front page, which has this headline story above the fold. It seems that since May 1st, 2012, the ROP have been enforcing a new road safety campaign and have been banging people up for 10 days if they are caught using their phones while driving.

The article goes on to say that "even as the campaign ends, this law is likely to stay". Before, if you were hauled over for using your phone here it would be a RO 10 fine and then you are on your way. Not anymore it seems.

The ROP have also stated that their patrol cars now also feature mobile cameras that can, amongst other things, record your speed, and you - handling your phone, for evidence in prosecution.

A step in the right direction, but how about an emphasis on the chronic speeding problem that is literally killing this country? Time will tell, I guess.

le fin.

New law: 10 days in the clink for using phone while driving New law: 10 days in the clink for using phone while driving Reviewed by Sythe on Sunday, May 13, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Steps need to be taken, that is the undeniable truth. Whether this is the right step, I don't think so. The reality of having several hundred people admitted to the clink for 10 days is unrealistic. In the morning on my way to work I would say that 1 in 5 of all drivers is on their phone. If the ROP went undercover to monitor this (ie- unmarked cars) they would be kept very busy.
    I would say a 50 rial fine and an immediate confiscation of the phone (with SIM card) for 10 days would be a more realistic deterrant.
    They also need to look at speeding and kids in cars without seatbelts/car seats or walking around in teh car as well.

  2. I guess 10 days in the clink is a bit draconian. I'd have gone for a 50 rial fine + a black point on the license.
    10 Black points in a year and the license is cancelled.

    The biggest cause of accidents in Oman today is Over speeding, tail gating and reckless driving !

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  4. I guess jail cells will be full from now on then,10 days jail time for using a phone while driving is a bit over the edge, an increased fine would be more realistic

  5. Certainly a step in the right direction even if the penalty seems draconian. As other posters have said I think a 50 rial fine and some sort of penalty point system would be better. I've noticed a recent increase in people driving through red lights, scary stuff, now that is something I believe warrants a short custodial sentence. I could rant about the roads in Oman all day long as it really is my major pet hate with this country that has been so good to me but ill stop now and get back to work before my blood really starts to boil.

  6. Far more dangerous is texting. Some drivers are texting for long periods and hold the phone at waist level to avoid it being seen. This is probably the cause of the alarming phenomenon of drivers wandering out of their lane; or it could be drink or drugs or just the inability of a large proportion of the drivers here to keep their cars heading in a straight line. Whatever the cause its pretty scary on a side road when someone coming towards you is well onto your side of the road. On the motorway it is common to follow someone driving slowly and drifting into an adjacent lane.
    Omani friends tend to blame the roads and do not accept that there could be a problem with driving standards here (or they blame foreigners!)

  7. Interesting.. Radio Merge FM has posted on their FB saying they spoke to a certain Lieutenant in ROP, who has said this penalty is under study and not finalized yet !!

    So Question here.. Who jumped the gun and announced this penalty or reported on it first ? :P

  8. LOL, K, guess that's why we got our first ticket for talking on the phone while in the car today.

    But did they get mad about the baby on the lap as well?


    BTW, so NOT my fault. I blame my Omani in laws for it happening at all. I believe kids should have seatbelts and baby's car seats.

    Come on. Jail. That's a joke. Big Man in Oman made a more realistic suggestion. Though that would be bad also, confiscating the phone since people have privacy for business and women's numbers would suddenly get texts from bored ROP officers......... Anyways. Yeah. I wish we had a points system.

  9. Re previous posts commenting that 10 days or confiscating phone are too harsh. They are not harsh enough! People using a phone while driving are risking other peoples lives and have already killed and injured thousands in this country. It is not a light matter.

  10. I heard through the grapevine that ROP have denied the jailing thing . . .


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