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Expat wanderer

Drive to Reduce Traffic Deaths in Qatar

I am a great admirer of Brig Mohamed Abduallah al-Malki. I remember once, when Qatar was much smaller, when he printed his phone number in the paper and told people to call him when they saw drivers misbehaving. What a brave man, a committed man, and a courageous man.

I admire his persistence, his sincere desire to bring down traffic deaths in Qatar.

Yesterday, as I was driving, I noticed most drivers slowing down – when that happens, you know there are new speed cameras set up, and you slow down too. You slow down – or most of us do. There are a visible few who seem to believe that the rules do not apply to them.

There is a persistent rumor that traffic fatalities fell dramatically when the new laws were introduced – and enforced – equally – against all law breakers. As long as laws are enforced equally against ALL nationalities, the death rate will lower.

To me, it is a huge national tragedy that so many young Qatteri men lose their lives, or are seriously physically damaged, in traffic accidents that could have been prevented. It is like a huge national resource, just wasted, all that potential, gone.

This is from today’s Gulf Times

Drive to raise students’ road safety awareness

Traffic department and IBQ officials at the launch of the campaign yesterday
By Riham el-Houshi

The ‘Schools without Accidents’ campaign launched yesterday for the second year running by the Traffic Department is aimed at cutting the number of road accidents in Qatar by half, a top official has said. The campaign aims at raising awareness about road safety among students.

Traffic Department expert and general co-ordinator of the National Campaign for Road Accident Prevention, Brig Mohamed Abduallah al-Malki, said “there has been a decrease in the number of deaths in 2009 but a final picture will emerge only by December.”

The number of road accident deaths in the country fell by 20% in 2008 compared to the previous year. The total number of road accidents last year was 20,455, with approximately 200 deaths, according to the Traffic Department.

The initiative, launched within the framework of the ‘National Campaign for Road Accidents Prevention,’ is a programme to raise awareness on the importance of road safety among students across Qatar.
Al-Malki added that 35% of road accident victims were pedestrians who were usually expatriates.

“Therefore the campaign this year will focus on expatriate schools as well as local ones,” al-Malki pointed out.

The campaign will be funded by the International Bank of Qatar (IBQ), who has given QR500,000 to the Traffic Department. The bank donated QR250,000 to the cause last year. According to al-Malki, the money will be spent on brochures, signboards, and competitions.

“Too many of our young people never have the chance to realise life’s opportunities as their lives are cut tragically short by preventable road accidents,” said IBQ managing director George Nasra.

“We can and must do even more to reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities – especially among our youth.”

A recent survey conducted by Gulf Times had shown that 41% of the respondents feel that Qatar was the worst country to drive because of the number of accidents caused by reckless driving.

September 29, 2009 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Leadership, News, Qatar, Social Issues, Statistics


  1. When will they learn? Over here its more a lack of etiquette rather than lack of driving skills that causes all these traffic accidents.

    Comment by Mathai | October 1, 2009 | Reply

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