The number of people killed on Qatar’s roads has reached its highest level in at least 13 months, newly released statistics show.
There were 31 traffic fatalities recorded in January, according the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics’ monthly bulletin.
That’s the highest number since the government began releasing traffic data in January 2014. At that time, there were 14 fatalities – less than half of what they were at the beginning of this year.
Even when taking Qatar’s growing population into account, January 2015 was still the deadliest month on the country’s roads, with 1.39 deaths per 100,000 residents.
The latest figures are a setback after the previous month’s report showed the number of people who died in vehicle crashes last year declined compared to 2013.
Despite that drop, cases of serious injuries in 2014 rose – a trend that has to continued into the new year.
The 79 cases of major injuries in January were also the highest on record, while the 612 minor injuries is second only to the 696 cases recorded last November.
Meanwhile, overall recorded violations reached 151,163, the most since September.
For years, authorities have been trying to make Qatar’s roads safer through educational efforts and greater enforcement of traffic laws.
The annual GCC traffic week took place earlier this month at Darb Al Saii. It featured lectures on accident prevention and responsible driving, as well as seminars on driving decisions, traffic mistakes and motorbike risks.
A public awareness campaign on the importance of seatbelt use is also apparently in the works. The promotion is called Qatar Vision Zero, reflecting the ultimate target of no road deaths in the country.
While it’s currently required by law for drivers and front-seat passengers to buckle up, a 2012 study found that nearly one in five drivers in Qatar fail to wear a seatbelt. The same research found that 29 percent of front-seat passengers and 92 percent of rear-seat passenger don’t wear seatbelts.
Though zero road fatalities is the long-term goal, traffic planners have set themselves a more realistic short-term benchmark of 130 deaths by 2022, according to Qatar’s National Road Safety Strategy aims to reduce road deaths to 130 by 2022.
However, the country is still far off from that target.
There were 222 people killed in traffic collisions last year, down from 246 in 2013.
Many Qatar residents have said they believe that accidents could be reduced in frequency if more police officers patrolled the country’s roads and stringently applied traffic laws.
In recent years, the government has boosted enforcement efforts through the creation of a dedicated highway patrol unit and installing radar cameras to catch speeders.
The move may play a factor in the number of radar-related offenses climbing to 95,544 in January, a six-month high.
Meanwhile, in late January, traffic authorities lowered the speed limit on the Doha Expressway from 100km/h to 80 km/h in an apparent effort to ease congestion and reduce the number of collisions on the busy road.
The director of the traffic department said earlier this month that there has not been a single serious collision on the highway since the speed limit was reduced.
This isn’t news anymore
except that it is – people die because of this bullsh**
Yes. We are all well aware of that.
and it never will be…..it will simply stay a statistic as the mortuaries continue to fill.
Sick of reading about this and nothing ever changing,map art from the speed limit, which is useless because no one abides by it anyway.
Seriously… what do you expect the poor police to do? Stand out in the hot sun and catch people for speeding? Give them tickets for not wearing their seatbelts? Punish people for reckless driving?
Do you know how much work and effort that would involve?
And spare a thought for the people working at Hamad Hospital who wouldn’t have to spend their evenings tending to children who have been fatally injured in car crashes? What will they do all day if they no longer have to tell relatives that their 3 year old is dead because she wasn’t safely secured?
Ahhh I see your point. Safe driving=job cuts. Silly me!!!
Job cuts, extra work for police, embarrassment and humiliation for bad drivers.
The easy solution is to watch people die on the streets.
Most of the accidents here are caused due to arrogance. Change your attitude.
Gulf Times Positive Headline
More great news for Qatar, due to the many deaths on the roads the traffic is now reduced in the morning meaning shorter commute times for happy citizens and residents. Special thanks to his highness and the traffic police for making this all possible
A very common sight on roads…people texting with one hand and driving with the other.These people risk their life as well well as others around them.
The problem arises when they are using their free hand to hold their cup of coffee while texting with the other.
Ha. The real problem is when the police are doing this whilst changing lanes and not using indictators.
Or even better. Driving the wrong side down a single lane to queue jump. Check out Al Khufous St. off Al Farousyia St. Absolutely awful for SUVs driving down the wrong side to queue hop. Specially bad when it’s the police or the army who have the audacity to honk you when you don’t move to the side to let them pass by on your lane.
Still shakin my head in amazement even though it happens every morning.
Used to take Al Khufous St every morning and couldn’t believe the chaos. Reported it to the MOI on three occasions….result? Nothing. Pathetic.
You are right, did the same, no result, really pathetic…
You are right
Real talk…the speed limit applies when the speedy driver see the camera 50 meters before on the expressways and other roads. After the camera, they begin to speed up again and flashing vehicles in-front of them…
A big part of the problem is that people with BIG SUV’s feel a lot more powerful than the little passenger cars. I have witnessed guys gunning their cars if someone was crossing the road, or if a woman was at the wheel. (Sorry if I offended anyone.) Drivers need to take safe driving courses and like in many driver’s education courses around the world, (which they should have to pass before being allowed on the roads), they should have to watch some graphic videos of what the emergency vehicle staff see when they clean the broken bodies from the highway. Driving seems to be too much of a joke, and young men without licenses don’t really get punished that much.
How ironic that I should comment on this then some moron drives straight into the side of me whilst trying to push his way from the inside lane of the roundabout to an exit. Lucky I was following my husband so he could stop too. Had the baby in the car. He guy tried telling me it was my fault then he saw my rather large and muscly hubby get out of his car and his tone changed…funny that!! Not much damage done, but leaving Doha in June for good (thank god) and in he process of trying to sell my car…:((((
Wow! Good to know you’re all okay! Yes you’re lucky, not everyone has got a large, muscular hubby ;).
Ha I know, I am very lucky, thank you! :)))
During too much wind condition police patrol may give warning alarm through blinking lights to caution the drivers to reduce speed since the drivers may not know the outside weather in a closed a/c vehicle.
People need to be less aggressive and more patient on the roads and accept it may take a bit longer to get to their destination but they will arrive Alive and safely.. Many people have no road manners and are rude and impatient, if this changes things may get better.. This is just my opinion..
The picture middle way down the article explains it well…the police are muppets…like the dolls in the picture and have no idea about law enforcement…apology to the dolls in the picture as you probably do a better job.
Deleting for unfair attack.
They do not catch over speeders here, they just take a picture and send an sms message congratulating the moronic driver that he reached the speed limit.
After all those articles about how the traffic accident stats have been improving, now the reality comes through. We know who the culprits are and they continue to get away with it.
The most dangerous speed to drive in this country is the speed limit!! On a four lane highway with a speed limit of 100 kph, the far 3 lanes has travelers driving an average speed of 40 kph, 50 kph, and 60 kph respectively. The far left lane has drivers traveling an average speed of 180 kph. So someone actually going the speed limit (100 kph) is almost rear ended in the left lane, and then has to slam on their brakes to even enter into the right lanes. The most dangerous problem in this country is the speed differential on the highways!
Living for how many years here in Qatar, I had noticed two things when it comes to having heavy traffic, 1) If there’s an accident or incident on the road ahead, and 2) If there is a traffic police officer in any given intersections or roads.
I think this calls for new measures to be enacted sometime in the future and to be rigidly enforced sometime much further in the future.
As many pointed out, it’s the aggressive attitude of many drivers. But that is a result of something. Imagine living in a world where everything is ruled by tradition or religion. How free would you feel in your car. That’s where you can let go. The traffic rules are Khalliwalli. They are made by men. They are neither tradition nor the word of God. So, you can ignore them. Money isn’t the problem. It’s the only place where you can really be who you are!
I find these figures to likely be inaccurate as the most developed countries with a much safer driving culture report fatality rates of 3-7/100,000 (e.g. Norway, Sweden). In fact the official fatality rate for Qatar in 2010 was 14/100,000. No country has ever reported rates of < 2/100,000. So I would recommend the writer to review their data. Alternatively Qatar is the safest country in the world to drive in – unlikely!
I agree with your calculations. The author, obviously a DN staff member, needs to go back to school. Or, and that would be worse, he’s trying to influence the reader with false data.
I have found the error (it is mine). The article above reports the monthly rate, not the annual rate, so 1.3/100,000 per month is 16/100,000 per annum – a very high rate.
So, you were trying to influence the reader with false data. Shame on you.