Additional “civilian-looking” police vehicles are being deployed onto Qatar streets to monitor traffic and write up motorists who are breaking common road rules, Al Raya reports.
The cars will apparently be equipped with cameras to record violations such as using mobile phones while driving, not buckling up, throwing trash from cars and seating children under the age of 10 years old in the front seats of the car, the Peninsula translates.
Police will also be cracking down on those who overtake from the right, who drive and park on sidewalks, or park illegally in handicapped spots.
This is not the first time Qatar has sent out unmarked cars to catch violators.
In June, Traffic Department officials said officers in private vehicles were being deployed to the Al Wabb, C-Ring and February 22 Road areas to catch rogue motorists.
At the time, Capt. Hamad Ali al Misnad said officers would still be dressed in uniform while taking action against those who violate the law.
He added that the main problem was that many people only behaved when they saw police cars around.
So far, eight new unmarked Land Cruisers and Nissan Patrols have been sent out to monitor the streets this week, Al Raya stated.
Traffic woes discussed
The news comes days after senior members of the government discussed Qatar’s rising traffic problems. According to the most recent government figures available, the number of people dying in car crashes is rising, while the number of traffic violations is falling.
According to QNA, the Cabinet reviewed a report from the National Committee for Traffic Safety on Wednesday.
The report includes several suggestions about improving congestion and other issues, the newswire stated, without going into specifics.
Do you think the new unmarked patrols will help improve the state of Qatar’s roads? Thoughts?
Yes, this is a great initiative by the government however the models of the vehicle shouldn’t have been listed otherwise, they need to include other models of vehicles which must exclude Nissan Patrols and Toyota Landcruiser. I personally feel that most of the drivers are very careful and behave properly infront of these type of vehicle models.
Nah, It wont make a difference IMO. you see, most of the officers are Qataris and non-Qataris born in Qatar. It will be hard to spot them if they wear Thobe and drive a LC.
think of it this way, if people slow down and obey traffic rules every time they see a Landcruiser or Nissan Patrol, there will no violations!
would you stop for an unmarked LC flashing their lights to get you to pull over ? NEVER IN a MILLION YEARS!
they might be unmarked cars but they do have police flashing lights in the headlights and hidden Police lights in the front grill ..
I did once! The guys were kind enough to tell me I had a flat tire – and then proceeded to change it for me! (while my parents were visiting Doha and in the car too)
with no exception right??
Yeah, when the Emir and other VIPs race through Doha they will get a ticket in the mail…..
At least they clear the road before they do it.
When MOI was questioned on this initiative, Ahmed Al Motorsorui said, “this is just the first stage in talking Qatar’s dangerous driving problem. Soon we will launch our own satellite to monitor traffic violations and report them. This is based on the latest military surveillance satellites and has a resolution of clarity accurate to 50cm”
Our intrepid reporter from MIMH Common Sense News asked a follow up question, “that is quite amazing but also eye wateringly expensive. Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the existing traffic police to actual stop cars and issue tickets on the spot?”
Mr Al Motorsouri rapidly ended the news conference and blamed racist British Newspapers for ridiculing his sateliite enforcement program and left driving at 160km, with no seat belt, six kids running around in his car, smoking a cigarette while reading Doha News on his mobile.
There is an even simpler solution … There are many, many drivers on the road with significant unpaid fines and black points … Go to their homes or place of work and collect the fines or seize the cars until they are paid
Check out the violations on this car 228844, it was parked illegally in front of my house. Curiosity made me check the plate number on MOI website… over 200 traffic violations and over 50 points, how on earth is this car still on the streets?? Shouldn’t MOI confiscate his car/license? I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner gets all his violations waived upon renewal of his registration!
OMG! What’s the point of issuing citations??? That is DISGRACEFUL! He should have his licence revoked! But with a number like that…he’s SURE to have wasta!!!
What license? I don’t think with this attitude they won’t bother to get one.
This is far worse than the guy who killed a family of five last year. He had 40+ violations only in one year !
A week back, in the slope R/A, a person wearing thobe driving a range rover while talking on a phone, barely missed a lekhwiya patrol car . police saw that and put their hands up on the air, mumbled something and resumed policing (!) the traffic. they knew they are nobody against that man :))
cool story bro
nice way to evade bro
ok cool story bro
Don’t forget the black tinted windows all around the Range Rovers, LC’s, Lexus, etc etc
We want to see implementation of laws on everyone. Last time I was in Qatar, I was backed at by a GMC truck and on top of that the driver showed alarming signs of aggression that really made me feel threatened and worried about my own safety on the road. It’s disturbing to realize that I can’t feel safe driving in my own country. Calling the cops hasn’t been quite helpful either, as whenever I call to complain they ask me to go file a complain at the police center, and that doesn’t make sense because my safety was in danger at that specific moment, plus I am not familiar enough with the police station locations and I also don’t feel comfortable going to police stations as a female, last time I got out from there the cop called me back again on my cell offering any assistance I might need…. Yes he did. Such a gentleman, right?
I feel sorry for what you’ve been through, as I suffer the same situation very often, yet complaining to police will hardly get you anything in return, besides, you will be challenged to produce an evidence. In the end, it just wastes your time. Law enforcement on all drivers equally is the ONE and ONLY solution.
Thank you for showing understanding and empathy. For this specific reason of ” doubting,” cameras should be placed everywhere. Cameras and radars where I reside currently caught many criminals who should be locked in prisons rather than roaming around causing damages.
We need better civilized people in the country to contribute in prosperity, not people who can’t even follow traffic laws, foolish drivers who think they own the road and who doesn’t hesitate showing disrespect of other’s rights. I look at the issue from a larger scope, because I really believe those concepts are interconnected. Hope everyone contribute in making Qatar a safer place to live for our kids, families and community as a whole.
Assuming that every driver has a camera and a traffic police attached to them, there will be violations as soon as the camera is off or the police is looking at the other side. The point is, no matter how many cameras or how many traffic patrols or how much money spent on that matter, Equal enforcement is the ONE and ONLY proven way that works. No innovation , or over-spending needed !
in fact a country it is made by all the people who live in it! This is what Qatar should understand. Law should be the same for all
DJ25Q, yes, everyone should follow the laws regardless of social class, nationality or even wealth which what is happening now a days! It does bother me as a citizen and it ticks me off because it’s a measure of civilization to me, a measure of education, respect and acknowledge of other’s right among the population in my own home, which I cannot tolerate knowing it’s getting abused.
Sabre, gender inequality is another issue in Qatar which I won’t get my self into because I won’t finish typing down about it. In short, the discrimination against woman contradict the Sharia law we should be implementing to protect the woman.
Aggresive behavior is mainly the manifestation of the inability to express the message verbally. Ignoring is the best option most of the time. I’m sure that many men wll however quickly associate whatever situation they are in with the fact that you area female – and take it as a “fact” that you are the cause of the problem as in their mind women are lousy drivers.
Also, I do not see the practicality of just accepting how males and even females in some cases would attribute task performance quality to gender. People, these are 60’s mentality, we’re in 2014, we have females role models in every domain in life. Can’t just be so shallow and sexist to consider a person a less qualifies to do tasks merely based on gender. And talking about it even keeps feeding those sick, useless and harming mentality, woman are the other part of the society wither anyone like it or not. Stop spreading such sexist remarks against woman.
AMEN AMEN AMEN!
Just to be clear. This is not my opinion about women; it’s what I hear when I’m in the car with others and a woman happens to cross our path. Goes for here, the US and Europe.
8 enforcement cars ? For around a million vehicles ? Good luck ….
What about those INDIVIDUALS who will force to pull over ( without identifying themselves ) claiming that you violated traffic law ? are they police or CID ?
in all cases, they are supposed to identify them selves and show a valid ID as well ( just can’t imagine how it would be if anybody would stop anybody , claiming to be traffic police )….just saying !
ask them for their ID card , if they refuse call 999 and report it ASAP ..
So, you are assuming when an expat is reporting such incident, he will not be challenged to prove what happened?
I guess those who bully others while claiming to be police without ID should prove they are innocent, not the other way around !
You will not be challanged nor be accused of false report.
Please do not follow the hype that says ” As an Expat no one will listen to you nor aid you against evil clothed wanabe CEID”
its a law , if an Officer comes to you and say bla bla u made bla bla , ask him for his ID CARD , he might be from public guard dept. and has no rights to even open his mouth to you due to traffic violation ..
Know your rights ….
Just use the Metrash system & report them online but always take pics & then u will see how quickly they run away. It works for sure :).
Drivers barely obey the rules when a police car is right next to them, I don’t think people are suddenly going to stop putting their children in a dangerous situation, or stop speeding, etc etc. Plus maybe them not releasing what cars they’re going to put out there would be a better way to go?
I think publicly stating what kinds of cars they are sending out is the right thing to do. People have a right to know. Especially since anyone could pull you over and claim to be the police.
Fair point, people do have a right to know. But the police will still remain in uniform it says above. On top of that they should also show their police license/ID as well. But my point also is that even with marked police vehicles many people don’t abide by the laws, so I don’t see how people are going to change with this. Through my experience living there, there’s been a number of methods put out there and none have either worked – or more so they haven’t been stuck to.
I was recently pushed off a roundabout by a LC in front of a policeman directing traffic looking at me. When I pointed to the other driver and looked to the police for help he just shrugged his shoulders and told me to move on.
i have been forced to drive over the Roundbout cuze the female police woman driving her car doesnt care about me honking and warning her … got damaged rim and she drove away .. well this was like 3 years ago 🙂
I get you. Agreed, it’s a very frustrating situation and I don’t know how effective this is going to be.
Are these the same police who have pulled me over for driving late at night? I often can’t sleep, so I drive around to pass some time (only when I am feeling fully awake and alert, by the way). I have been pulled over a couple of times now at around 2-3am without explanation even though I’m driving on main roads, normally, and within speed limits. The first time it happened I actually thought it was just some jerk pushing me out of the way because he was flashing his headlights — I accelerated to change lanes, and all of a sudden found myself being chased by a police car with sirens blaring.
Meanwhile people are drag racing down the highway at that hour without consequence. Hilarious.
its a normal procdure , i keep getting stopped by police cars usually Fazza , they just wana make sure that you are safe or you are the actual owner of the car ..
Okay. As long as they also pay attention to the people who are a real danger on the road. 🙂
I have been pulled over by police couple of times in early mornings. I was from office (working late) heading home. Their concerns were whether I am drunk & driving, is it my vehicle and am I not feeling sleepy. I would say its good police work 🙂
How nice that they explained to you! They never tell me anything, even when I ask.
Thanks for mentioning the type & number of vehicles deployed. Would have been much better if this was not mentioned & just run around as rogue vehicles.
Agree with you, but with the magnificent drivers on the road, they can’t pull you over without using the power or the size of a huge SUV….do you think they can stop you, or even drive in a small tiny sedan?
Everyone should be made to re-do their driving test under stricter rules, such as those in Europe. I guarantee half the population wouldn’t pass. Then have these regular routine traffic checks to catch offenders. If you can’t drive then take the bus, taxi or car pool.
I bet more than 80% would fail !
Wasta is way less than before , seen queue’s of known Qatari people from known families in Traffic police “BEGGING” to be pardoned from the point system points …
Fact or fantasy?
Fact 🙂 , you can visit Traffic Dept. from 8 am till 11 am , see the queues at al-Kharji office
Surely you jest?
Well it made no difference this morning-
-undertaken in busy traffic by a gentleman in thobe as he wove in and out of moving vehicles then sped up the hard shoulder.
-Tailgated on Al Shamal Road by huge black 4×4 flashing his lights all the way up the outside lane, seeming to think I should brake hard and get back in the next lane regardless of room to do so
-Most drivers I noted did not wear seatbelts
-LC driver drinking coffee whilst texting as he drove next to me trying to push in on a filter lane.
That’s just one day, one road. If I could experience this, why not the law enforcement agencies?
Does anyone know how the points system works? I wasn’t given any information when I got my license and can’t find any info.
certain offenses, and they are pretty wide range, can take points from your license. best bet is to go to the Madinat Khalifa station and ask them for information. That way its much more clear to you than just waiting for a ping that you have a ticket!
point system is brutal to be honest , lets say you got fined and they listed 1 point on you on 1/1/2015 .. this point will stay till 1/1/2016 .. if you lets say got another fine on 11/12/2015 you have to wait till 11/12/2016 for the combined points to be abolished …
i have 6 points that doesnt want to go away since 2011 🙂
Gosh! Do you know how many points you can have before you get in trouble? Would that be removing your license as the punishment?
yes 13 or 14 points and you get 1 month licences taken , second time its 6 months , 3rd time its 1 year and you have to redo the driving exam all over again
Jamal, you need Wasta, no need to worry about points and so forth.
The only way to get people to obey the laws is to have police that actually PULL offenders over and give them a ticket on the spot..not wait for the flash radars or unmarked cars on the side of the road. If everyone is aware there might be an officer that can pull them over and hand them a ticket..ANYWHERE…they will behave much more according to the laws. But..there can’t be any exceptions when it comes to handing out tickets..if you break the law, then you get a ticket..no matter who you are..
Let’s start with pulling over and ticketing expat offenders. Better than nothing.
Expats? Most of the offenders I see every day are not expats…
Some of these people have millions of tickets!!! And tons of points! So what r they doing about THAT problem???
Because they are cowards.
Out of curiosity what make of car is it ?
i doubt it will be LC , more like the New Prado’s and Nissan Xtrails
The ratio of traffic patrols to the number of vehicles should exponentially increase, and spot tickets should be issued for violations. This will deter rogue drivers who will be required to pay their fines at time of road permit renewal.
Unmarked patrols alone won’t help curb the problem, however, stringent actions taken on cases reported, will help a long way. make no mistake about it, the problem will NEVER cease though.
I think pulling people over with lights & sirens would have a much bigger effect!!!
Not enough following the UAE system will be best i think
They should devise a policy to fine those who sleeps on the fast (left) lane and don’t react to flash light, prompting us to overtake on the right. I know it’s dangerous but what I’m I expected to do…sleep also and contribute to the density of the traffic.
The leading cause of early death varies by country. In the Americas, Europe, Australia and India it is heart disease. In China, it is stroke. In Pakistan it is pneumonia. In Africa it varies among HIV, malaria, diarhhea. In Syria, it was war in 2013. In the GCC… no prizes for guessing.. it is road injuries!
I’ve been living in Qatar for 6 years, and I don’t own a car. I walk to work, and my wife and kids get ferried by a VERY cautious driver. When I cross the street with my children, I hold their hands tight, and cross only when the road is clear for 50 metres! I don’t expect drivers to stop (or even slow down) at a zebra crossing, unless there is a traffic light.
Having no expectations of courtesy or sensible driving from others on the road, has helped us stay safe. Contrast that with friends we visited in Munich this summer, whose kids walk the streets with confidence knowing that their right-of-way will be respected.
I’ve driven in many countries around the world, and the last 2 weeks in Qatar. I have to say that in general people drive OK. Very comparable to the US way of driving. Some people act like there are only savages out there, but that’s not the case. If you want to see some difficult driving, I invite you to go drive in Paris or northern african countries. Only thing that is missing is a bit of patience and some gentlemen behaviour sometimes. The attitude: “my car is bigger and more expensive than yours, so get out of the way” is also not very conducive to a fluid traffic situation overall.