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Satheesh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Traffic police are adding more mobile radars to Qatar’s roads, making it harder for speeding motorists to avoid getting caught and fined.

In a statement last week, the Ministry of Interior warned drivers about the new strategy, saying the addition of extra radars is to “encourage the public to adhere to specified speed limits.”

Not doing so can result in a QR500 fine.

Frederik/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The crackdown on speedsters comes as Qatar’s roads appear to be growing less perilous.

Fewer people were killed in traffic accidents last year, and the overall number of accidents and traffic offenses also fell.

However, motorists still racked up more than 1.6 million tickets for bad driving in 2016.

Problem areas

Because mobile radars are often installed in vehicles, which police can park at any location, they are harder for motorists to spot.

So unlike with fixed radars, one cannot simply slow down, pass the device and then speed up again.

Each morning, the MOI has been tweeting the general location of the mobile radars.

Ashghal

Dukhan Highway

The first areas to get the devices included Kharara Road, Al Wakrah-Mesaieed Highway and Al Shamal Highway.

Dukhan and Salwa were added to the list later on last week.

Is the presence of mobile radars forcing you to slow down? Thoughts?

MOI/Facebook

Qatar ID card

People living and working in Qatar must carry their ID cards “at all times” as proof of their identities and valid residency, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has warned.

It added that residents should present the ID card at the request of authorities, QNA reports.

The reminder is in line with Law No. 21 of 2015 on the Entry, Exit, and Residency of Foreign Nationals.

Chantelle d'Mello

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Article 15 of this law states:

“During his residency, the Foreign National shall submit his Passport, Travel Document, or Residency Permit to the Competent Authorities when requested. He shall answer any questions asked of him, and within the appointed time established for him.”

However, in the past officials have clarified that residents don’t necessarily have to present an ID card on the spot if a law enforcement official demands it.

For example, if someone is out running on the Corniche, he can go back to his car or home to retrieve the card.

But outright refusal to present ID to officers could lead to a fine of up to QR10,000, authorities previously said.

No more passport stamps

Qatar ID cards have become more important since officials began phasing out residency permit stamps in passports in 2014.

Once they have the new ID cards, expats must keep in mind that it is the only official document that proves their identity and residence in Qatar.

Qatar Airways/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

That means residents who leave the country must present this card alongside their passport as proof of their identity.

This also applies to children who have been issued an ID card, another new step.

Likewise, people returning to Qatar must present their ID cards alongside their passports to get into the country.

Lost cards

In the event that an ID card is lost, the resident should report it to the General Directorate of Passports, QNA reported yesterday.

If the card is lost inside of Qatar, the resident or a company representative should head to one of the service centers and fill out a lost ID form, submit his passport for verification and pay QR200 for lost report fees and the new card.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

It gets a bit more complicated if the card is lost outside of Qatar, according to Brig. Muhammed Saleh Al Kuwari, who heads the Residence Division of the passport directorate.

He said the resident must then file a report in the country where the card was lost, get it attested by authorities in that foreign country and send a copy to the resident’s representative in Qatar to be able to issue a Return Permit for Resident.

This permit costs QR200. It is then sent to the resident abroad to be able to enter the country.

Once he arrives in Qatar, the resident should head to the Expatriates Affairs Department to issue a lost report and get a new card.

Thoughts?

Ashghal

New bridge on E-Ring Road

Qatar is in the process of setting up a new bridge on E-Ring Road to help pedestrians cross the area safely, the country’s public works authority has said.

The 66m-long bridge is located between Al Thumama intersection and the junction between Airport and E-Ring roads.

So far, the steel structure has been put into place.

Ashghal said it is adding finishing touches such as elevators to the bridge and aims to open it to traffic by the second quarter of this year.

Ashghal

Al Thumama intersection, February 2016

In a statement, it added that several tall trees are being installed in the area to ensure the privacy of residents whose homes are visible from the bridge.

More bridges on the way

Last year, authorities said some 15 new pedestrian bridges are going to be built around Doha and its suburbs soon.

They will include facilities such as ATMs, toilets, shops and restaurants.

QNA

Rendering of new pedestrian bridges

At the time, officials did not say where they would be located or provide a timeline for their opening.

But the bridges are widely seen as a way to improve safety and reduce pedestrian fatalities.

Some 57 pedestrians were killed in Qatar road crashes last year, comprising about a third of all 2016 road traffic deaths, according to the Ministry of Interior.

Area improvements

The upcoming E-Ring bridge is also part of ongoing efforts to overhaul E-Ring Road and Najma St., Ashghal said.

So far, some 90 percent of the planned works have been completed. This includes the development of:

  • 3km of Najma St. from Nuaija Intersection toward F-Ring Road);
  • 3.3km of E-Ring Road, including the conversion of Al Thumama roundabout to a signalized intersection; and
  • Infrastructure improvements, such as developing drainage networks.

Thoughts?