MUSCAT: Winners of the Shell Road Safety Awards were honoured at a ceremony held at the Traffic Safety Institute in Seeb, under the auspices of H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communication

Also present at the ceremony was H E Dr Madeeha bint Ahmed bin Nassir al Shibaniya, Minister of Education.

Shell Oman has been sponsoring the annual nationwide competition for eight years. The contest is aimed at encouraging people to act as responsible drivers and passengers.

Contesting schoolteachers and students had submitted their projects and research reports addressing issues such as speeding, use of mobile phones while driving, avoiding wearing seatbelts, irresponsible overtaking and not maintaining safe distance between vehicles on road.

According to the organisers, the number of entries from different governorates this year reached 2,348.

Dr Sana bint Sabeel al Balushia, director general of the National Career Guidance Centre at the Ministry of Education, and chairperson of the Shell Road Safety Awards’ main committee, said that evaluation of the entries showed there was a positive impact on the participants’ attitudes and principles pertaining to road safety.

“The awards will be held annually, focusing on a number of fields to enlighten students, parents, and educators on the importance of road safety,” she said, adding that vehicle maintenance is one of the fields that should be focused on in the coming years, especially taking women into consideration

She said that this was important as the number of women drivers has increased, according to statistics from ROP’s Directorate General of Traffic.

Khamees bin Ali bin Hassan al Battashi, deputy director of the Traffic Safety Institute and an ROP representative on the awards’ main committee, talked about how important the contest was for the entire community and in the field of education.

Hilal bin Yahya al Maawali, general manager of external affairs at Shell Oman, said, “This year’s Shell Road Safety Awards focused more on practical and easy-to-implement ways of changing the behaviour of road users. We received a number of creative projects this year and choosing the winners was not easy.”