In an effort to crack down on motorists who violate road rules, Qatar’s Traffic Department has begun sending out teams of police officers in private vehicles to write up offenders, the Qatar Tribune reports.
The newspaper cites Capt. Hamad Ali al Misnad as saying officers would still be dressed in uniform while taking action against those who violate the law.
The patrols were launched to deter bad drivers who only respect road rules when they see police cars around, al Misnad added.
So far, their are eight teams working shifts in unmarked cars, mostly in the following areas:
- Al Wabb;
- C-Ring Road; and
- February 22 Road.
The initiative is expected to be expanded beyond Doha soon. According to al Misnad:
“The number of traffic violations reported by these new patrol teams is large, mainly about irregularities of overtaking from the right and driving on the sidewalk.”
The number of road accidents and traffic citations in Qatar have been going up steadily as some 9,000 vehicles are added to the roads each month.
According to the latest government statistics available, Qatar saw 436 accidents in April, resulting in 355 minor injuries, 48 major ones and
24 29 deaths. That’s more than double the number of fatalities recorded in March.
Also in April, some 160,955 traffic violations were recorded, mainly for speeding, but also for not following road traffic signs and not renewing car registration or driver’s licenses.
That’s up significantly from the nearly 94,000 citations issued the previous month.
Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the ministry has two death figures listed in its report, and Doha News is going with the higher tally cited.
car horn usage?
But will they action against anyone who breaks the law on the road–irrespective of who they are?
action will be taken, then they will have their wasta sort it out for them
I have this new idea which I am sure no one has thought about before so I will share for free for the benefit of society. How about the police actually stopping motorists when they witness a violation, informing them of their mistake and then issuing them with a ticket and a fine. In this way the erring motorirst will be aware of the violation rather than receivng a notice months later and wondering what it means, therefore not changing their driving habits.
If this is succesful in Qatar then they can demonstrate this to the rest of the world so they can catch up and learn from this unique experiement.
have you ever thought of a career in politics?
Good Idea 🙂 i hope this will be implemented!
I love your idea (and your sarcasm), but the problem with that idea is that the culture here is entirely focused on how someone looks in public (to a fault, IMHO). Anyone who has ever been pulled over knows there’s at least a small bit of embarrassment in the process. How many locals do you think would stand outside their car on the side of the road while an officer carrying an “inferior” passport writes them a ticket? My guess is: not many. Currently the government tells us that it’s more important to use traffic officers to make sure VIPs get around quickly than to properly ensure the safety of the general population. They don’t “say” that, but that’s what they’re telling us in practice. So until that changes, we’ll unfortunately have to keep reading about unnecessary traffic deaths and we’ll keep arguing about which country supplies Qatar with the worst drivers.
The fear of embarrassment is another great reason to change negative and dangerous behavior into something more positive for society as a whole. How many unnecessary deaths must we deal with.
A year or so back I was pulled over by a police car for talking on the phone. He saw me and followed me with lights and sirens on and told me off and gave me a ticket. It dose happen have seen it and heard from friends about it
What about the whizzing qatari land cruisers ? Would this law be exercised on them as well ?
i hope there is a big crack down on kids without seat belts
This is excellent news! I hope to be able to read something in the near future about the effectiveness.
With the roads improving drastically (traffic lights etc), it can’t be an excuse anymore to disrespect the law because of this. So why are people still showing disrespect towards the law/citizens/authorities?
I do not have any faith at all that this will make any noticeable difference. They will go for the easy targets and people will be fined left right and centre for doing very doing minor things wrong while the really dangerous idiots will just carry on as usual. I don’t even think seeing the police is much of a deterrent for some of them. If they get a fine they just get uncle/brother/cousin down at the traffic department to make it go away.
Anyone ever heard of a driving test…….Prevention and education!!!
Every morning when I drive outside the pearl, I get confronted with the sight of at least 4 to 5 traffic police cars stationed on the side of the road (and that’s excluding the one that is permanently at the pearl entrance, with flashing lights.. soon maybe sirens too). This of course is necessary as the pearl is known as The Bronx of Qatar..
Let’s see how goes for a while. As previously commented my only reservation is will they go for the soft offences rather than the serious ones such as as has already been mentioned no seat belts, kids climbing around in cars, tailgating and mobile phone use while driving.
Police on every corner of the street does not exactly contribute to creating the perception of a nice and peaceful society. This way at least only the wrongdoers only will suffer.
No budget for marked police cars?
Effectiveness for marked police cars would be a nice start!
Police need to stop the person and educate them. Ticketing them for thousands of QR and hoping they will learn is not helpful in anyway what so ever. Stop and chat with the violator and educate them. You don’t have to fight. the infraction system needs to record “warning”, for first time offenders, 2 “stern warning” for one repition and then third time offender to get ticket with cost.
If the police are afraid of re-creating the los angles culture of car chases, they can simply flash their lights, use the public announcment system “bullhorn” to ask the person to pull over, if they drive away go ahead and fine them.
The current system of just giving them a fine in the computer is NOT educating our community.
I hear a dark Range Rover Sport is on patrol and better to move out of his way when he is approaching you at speed !
What about motorists that drive at 40kph on the expressway in the top lane, leaving no choice for other drivers but to overtake from the right hand side… and some ppl changing lanes after entering the roundabout… above all using an indicator is like an ego problem for many locals… few years back on Qatar Living i read a comment which was “they are only good when outside of their Land Cruiser”… when I first came to Qatar, our driving instructor in Schlumberger said “beware of Land Cruisers, especially ones with sand tyres”…
Qatar’s roundabout laws go against the whole working ethos of a roundabout . In the real world you do change lanes on a roundabout , it’s how you get off , if you can’t move over then you go around again until it’s safe to do so as mirror , signal and then manouvre . Roundabouts work on a planetary motion ideal , nothing clashes as long as you stick to the basic fundamentals , when you change the fundamentals they don’t work as in people in the left hand lane cannot go straight , they must turn left as that’s what that lane is for, then exit when it’s safe to do so. The driving culture and competance here is terrible , roundabout need judgement , due care and attention an attention to the specific law . We had 139,000 road violations in May with 2000 people jumping red lights and 39 dead . That’s all you need to know here , those figures tell you it’s lawless , non caring and dangerous to you and your family.
Maybe that is why they are getting rid of all of the roundabouts. Because it requires skill, intelligence, patience of your fellow motorists and people to be ready to give way because they wish to help traffic flow and not being forced to give way to avoid being driven into
Calm down people. This will have no effect on anything. Since the cops are in unmarked cars it will give them the opportunity to park anywhere and text their friends and take naps and eat donuts from Krispy Kreme. So dont get your underwear bunched up over this. It will cause you no more inconvenience than before. But it does provide the cops a very convenient alibi to go somewhere and continue to be lazy and allow the traffic cameras to do the job that they should be doing. LOL!
A man rear ended my car at a roundabout and the officer in the marked traffic police car next to me witnessed the accident and drove off. Marked or unmarked, I wish they would just do their job.