Drivers remain worried about road safety as the number of traffic violations increased last month.
Qatar’s Monthly Statistics Bulletin reports that the total number of deaths increased from 13 to 20 in just one month, marking a concerning 54% increase.
“Especially the big pickup cars zig-zag on the road and cut you suddenly,” says Abdul Vahab Poozhi, an Uber driver who has been on Qatar’s roads for 14 years.
“It is not as bad as it used to be a couple of years ago,” said Poozhi. “The roads have become bigger, and there are a lot of signals. But there are still a lot of accidents. Even fines discourage speeding for some of us, but those who can pay still break the law.”
The figures showed only a slight decrease in general traffic accidents, totalling 704 cases, down from the previous 779. General minor accidents decreased from 727 to 647, and significant accidents decreased from 39 to 37.
The PSA report also noted that all areas except Dukhan had a decrease in minor accidents, highlighting Al Mamoura and Al Rayaan as areas with the highest decrease in minor accidents.
But, the report also detailed increased traffic violations of 12.6%.
“There have been countless instances where I’ve been tailgated by young drivers in big cars who clearly have no care in the world and drive at terrifying speeds on busy roads,” said Layla, a teacher and mother of two who has been driving in Doha for five years.
“Just a few months ago, I was involved in a terrifying multiple care pile-up accident on Al Shamal road,” Layla told Doha News, adding that at the time she was driving with her daughter.
“A driver who was driving at speed could not slow down in time, resulting in a multiple-car accident. The question is, what repercussion did that driver, who was clearly not paying attention, receive?”
“Fines are simply not enough,” Layla added. “There need to be more road safety awareness campaigns to really trigger a shift in attitudes and transform the driving culture, especially for young drivers.”
Another driver, who said he had been in Qatar for only seven months, had witnessed three accidents, according to his online post.
“Drivers are impatient, follow too close, drive too fast, and fail to obey traffic laws,” Reddit user phrozenpham1906 said.
“The other night, someone was angry because I wouldn’t drive on the shoulder to let him pass. I wasn’t in the left lane. And, even after he passed, he tried cutting me off, being unsafe and childish.”
Most of the violations stemmed from guidelines and alarm signal violations accounting for a 190% increase.
This was closely followed by Driving License violations, an 87% increase, Metallic Plates Violations, a 73% increase, and Overtaking Violations, a 50% increase.
Despite the increase in road violations, traffic accidents have stabilised in Qatar and have seen a downward trend since the World Cup was hosted last year.
While the trend is not nearly as drastic as it should be, authorities point to various measures that have been contributed to road safety.
The Ministry of Interior’s General Directorate of Traffic celebrated the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) Traffic Week between March 5 and 11, under the theme of ‘Your Life is a Trust’.
The event emphasised the importance of traffic safety and the need to raise awareness of traffic rules and laws among the public.
The event included a series of meetings and seminars to inform new drivers about safe driving practices, traffic laws, and the most common traffic violations.
The process of obtaining a driving license in Qatar requires a passed theory test, which includes traffic rules, regulations, road signs, and safe driving practices.