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Policing of road safety in Oman: Perceptions and beliefs of traffic police officers

Al Mazruii, M, Edwards, J, Armstrong, K, Davey, J (Peer reviewed)

Road Safety Across Cultures

ARSC conference 2015

With increasing motorisation, road safety has become a major concern within Oman. Internationally, traffic policing plays a major role in improving road safety. Within Oman, the Royal Oman Police's (ROP) Directorate General of Traffic is responsible for policing traffic laws. Many common enforcement approaches originate from culturally different jurisdictions. The ROP is a relatively young policing force and may have different operational practices. Prior to applying practices from other jurisdictions it is important to understand the beliefs and expectations within the Directorate General of Traffic. Further, there is a need for individuals to understand their role and what is expected of them. Therefore, it is important to explore the agreement between levels of the ROP to determine how strategies and expectations transfer within the organisation. Interviews were conducted with 19 police officers from various levels of the ROP. A number of themes and findings emerged. Individuals at the upper level of the traffic police had a clear knowledge of the role of the ROP, believed that traffic police know what is expected of them, are well trained in their role and can have a very positive influence on road safety. These beliefs were less certain lower within the organisations with traffic officers having little knowledge of the role of the ROP or what was expected of them, felt undertrained, and believed their peers have little positive impact on road safety. There is a need to address barriers within the ROP in order to positively impact road safety