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“Aggressive driving and speeding are common on Doha’s roads now”

From Gulf Times (Qatar); a new proposal to lower speeds on some roads to try to meet the goal of reducing accidents and fatalities rates. It notes they are also putting in more cameras and radars. All that is good. The question will be: How equitably will the law be enforced? When you look at percentages of accidents and fatalities as a proportion of population, are Qataris over represented? How do you encourage the nationals to drive respectfully?

Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is seeking to lower the speed limits set for several roads in Qatar in a new initiative to bring down the number of accidents. This is a sensible move. Aggressive driving and speeding are common on Doha’s roads now. Strict regulations are needed to counter this trend. Qatar already has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world.

During a presentation at the Qatar Transport Conference in Doha this week, Ashghal official, Yousef Abdulrahman al-Emadi, blamed speeding for most fatalities in road accidents. Speaking on “Road safety in Qatar: improving safety for all road users”, al-Emadi said Ashghal had recommended reduction in the current speed limits to the government.

Ashghal is also calling for the installation of additional radars and cameras at key locations in Doha as part of its initiative.

But rules and regulations alone are not enough to bring about a safety culture on our roads. Programmes to raise safety awareness among motorists should be a regular feature of all initiatives. That is why the “One Second” campaign , launched by the Traffic Department in association with Maersk this week, is important.

A Qatar National Road Safety Strategy (2013-2022), released in January 2013, aims to save 800 lives and prevent 2,000 serious injuries over the next 10 years. This is an achievable target if the government acts on the Ashghal suggestion and organises regular campaigns like “One Second”.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Doha, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Qatar, Road Trips, Safety | , , | Leave a comment