Word on the street: Riding unlicensed bikes
Public opinion on the streets of Muscat.
Do you think the menace of children using unlicensed bikes is under control?
Issa el Qaydi, Private sector employee
Children using unlicensed motorcycles is a worrying trend. Most of them can be seen riding such bikes particularly during Ramadan. I have seen many of them at the Seeb beach. However, the ROP is playing a commendable role in curbing this by imposing heavy penalties. But, we need more initiatives to completely stop it.
Hamid al Khalidi, Accountant
Children using unlicensed bikes was a widespread trend in the country. But with the concerted efforts of government agencies such as the ROP, institutions like schools and colleges and even public, the trend has come down. Parents and guardians today are aware and are teaching children and youth about the dangers involved.
Talal al Zahli, Senior executive, business development
No, I don’t think it is under control. One can still see a number of youth and children riding such bikes on the main and service roads. A major role should be played by families in preventing their children from using such bikes as they are prohibited by the law.
Adham al Jamali, Banker
Children using unlicensed bikes is a worrying trend as it is not just against the law but can also lead to fatal accidents. Use of unlicensed bikes is not common in the cities, but we see many children using such bikes outside Muscat, mostly on internal roads. We need to come up with better ways to curb the menace further.
Nayef al Habsi, Private sector employee
I think that the menace of using unlicensed bikes by youth still needs further clampdown. It can be controlled only with the concerted efforts of different government agencies and families. Awareness needs to be spread regarding the dangers involved with the use of such bikes.
As an individual, what would you do to solve the problem of children riding unlicensed bikes?
Kalaimani Ramakrishnan, Senior manager
I would reduce the minimum age to 16 so that more youth can ride bikes but would impose stricter rules on issuing licences. So, it is important that youth are given proper training before being issued licences. Youth should also be taught the importance of wearing helmets.
Alex Aranha, Accountant
I would want to increase the minimum age for holding a licence to 18 years. I’ve seen many teenagers riding unlicensed bikes without helmets. This is a risky affair. It’s good to see that the police regularly issues advisories and warnings in newspapers to stop such activities.
Saif Khamis, Storage manager
We need stricter regulations to control the problem of children riding unlicensed bikes. Only those over 18 years with a licence and an insurance should be allowed to ride bikes. Also, motorcycles with smaller engines should not be allowed on main roads because it’s dangerous for both the riders and other road users. The problem is that most of these bikers often ride at night to escape the police.
Mohamed Hussain, Accountant
Unlicensed bikes should not be allowed on main roads. Also, their use should be just for leisure activities for children in designated areas. Often such unlicensed bike riders race and block the way of motorists. Police should impose stricter penalties and deal with offenders strictly.
Bader al Farsi, Supervisor
Stricter laws are the only answer to control this menace. Children who ride unlicensed bikes are quite unruly as they are not aware of the road safety rules. These bikes don’t even have proper lights and riders do not wear helmets.
Do you think the government plays a big role in reducing unlicensed bike-related accidents?
Dushyant Kapadia, Property appraiser
Yes, the government plays an important role in reducing bike-related accidents. This is evident from the statistics of 2016. Heavier penalties and strict patrolling can probably bring down the number further.
Pooja Saxena, Blogger
The government can’t be everywhere to keep a check on such motorists. It is the responsibility of people to understand the dangers involved in allowing children to ride unlicensed bikes on main roads.
Prajyyot Rathi, Business development manager
The government is already working on the issue and has come up with many initiatives to reduce the rate of unlicensed bike-related accidents. The ROP has also requested parents not to gift small scooters to children.
Haresh Ashar, Manager
Parents need to understand that these smaller engine bikes that are not allowed on roads come with no safety features and can cause serious injuries. I think the government has taken some steps that have been really useful but a joint initiative is required.
Safeer Ahmed, Entrepreneur
The government has always come up with stringent regulations to deal with illegal motorists. These youngsters who ride unlicensed bikes cause accidents because they are inexperienced and ignore all safety aspects.
Do you think it is right for parents to allow their children to ride unlicensed bikes ?
Govind Sampath, Corporate communications head
No, it is the responsibility of parents to bring up their children as responsible law-abiding citizens. It is not wrong to allow children to have fun, but they should be taught the importance of adhering to safety rules.
Dr Abdul Momin, Doctor
Parents and guardians should not allow their children to use unlicensed bikes. Use of such bikes is a threat to the life of every road user.
Tamanna Sharmin, Social worker
Parents must always keep a watch on their children’s activities. In case of an accident, I think it is the parents who should be blamed.
Anees al Maimani, Private sector employee
Children riding unlicensed bikes are unaware of the safety rules as they are not trained. And it is this ignorance, that causes accidents. It is advisable to teach them road safety rules from a younger age.
Rabiul Mowla, Civil engineer
One must be careful on streets when you see children riding unlicensed bikes because they are unaware of the rules and immature too.