A Qatar court has ordered an expat woman who struck and killed a four-year-old child with her car to pay a fine of QR10,000, Al Raya reports.
The defendant, who is from the Philippines, was accused by the prosecution of reckless driving. She was also told to pay, along with an insurance company, QR200,000 in blood money to the victim’s relatives.
According to the newspaper, which did not specify when the accident happened, the woman had been driving in a residential area in Bin Omran when she ran over a Pakistani boy. Gulf Times translates:
“While she denied that she was responsible for the accident and had stopped to help the child, witnesses testified that they had seen her car hitting the four-year-old.
The victim’s father, who was at work when the accident took place, rushed to the emergency section of a hospital on being informed about the accident. However, the child was already dead by the time he arrived.”
According to traffic officials, about a third of all Qatar’s road fatalities involve pedestrians.
Dr. Rafael Consunji, director of Hamad Medical Corp.’s Injury Prevention program, said last year that some 300 people annually are brought to HMC after being involved in pedestrian road accidents.
“What is sad is that with all the advanced equipment and trained staff, 71 percent of them die on the spot,” Consunji said.
High vehicle speeds play a big role in the deaths, the doctor added. At 76km/h, there is a 90 percent chance of a driver killing a pedestrian he hits.
Qatar has run repeated campaigns urging both motorists and pedestrians to be more aware of their surroundings and take care to stay safe.
Meanwhile, residents have long been calling for increased enforcement of traffic laws on the roads as a way to decrease violations and accidents.
Some have also criticized the punishments given to motorists who land in court for killing pedestrians as too lenient, saying fines and the suspension of a driver’s license are not enough of a deterrent to improve road habits.