Browsing 'road safety' News

Chantelle D'Mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

During Ramadan, most traffic accidents in Qatar take place in the morning, not before iftar time as commonly thought.

That’s according to the Qatar Insurance Co. (QIC), which conducted an analysis of last year’s reported accidents and claims data during the fasting month.

It found that over the 30-day period, the most common timings of such incidents were between 9am and noon.

QIC

QIC Ramadan stats

This coincides with the morning weekday rush, as many people go to work later during Ramadan.

The most dangerous weekdays are Wednesdays and least dangerous are Sundays.

Older men

The analysis also found that men 40 years and older were more likely to get into traffic accidents.

They accounted for about a third of people who make claims.

Bark/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

According to QIC:

“Fasting can result in dehydration and low blood sugar, which in turn can limit our attentiveness, concentration, vision and reaction while driving.

In addition to fasting, the unusual eating and sleeping patterns can also cause fatigue, exhaustion, impatience and distraction.”

Advice

Company officials offered these pieces of advice to stay safer on the roads this month:

  • Be aware of your own limitations;
  • Be on the lookout for motorists struggling with the same issues and expect the unexpected;
  • Leave early so that you won’t be stressed out and rushing/speeding to your destination; and
  • Always wear your seat belt.

We would add get off your phone, since most accidents in Qatar are caused by motorists who are Instagramming and Whatsapping each other.

Thoughts?

Moinul Islam Tanim/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) is urging authorities to speed up work on pedestrian bridges at five “black spots” around Qatar.

Some 57 pedestrians were killed in Qatar road crashes last year, comprising about a third of all 2016 road traffic deaths, according to the Ministry of Interior.

According to the Peninsula, the intersections that have been identified as most dangerous to walkers include:

  • City Center Mall/Doha Convention Center junction;
  • Al Khor Mall;
  • Al Khaleej St. (no intersection given)
  • Al Meena St., which runs perpendicular to the Corniche; and
  • Ahmed bin Ali St., which crosses TV Roundabout.

Other traffic black spots in Qatar that have previously been highlighted include Al Waab St., the Expressway and C-Ring road.

And since February, mobile radars have been deployed in various trouble spots around Qatar as a way to further police the roads.

Other recommendations

As part of its new five-year action plan, the NTSC is aiming to save some 800 people from dying in traffic accidents over the next decade.

It also hopes to prevent 2,000 people from being seriously injured in such accidents by 2027, the Peninsula reports.

Shabina S. Khatri / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Discussing its goals at a traffic safety meeting this week, the NTSC has also recommended that speed limits be lowered on some roads.

That includes dropping the maximum speed limit on Al Markhiya St. from 100km/hour to 80 km/hour; the Convention Center to 50km/hour and B-Ring Road to 50km/hour.

Do you think making motorists slow down will help? Thoughts?

KaboomPics

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A QR500 fine is not high enough to deter Qatar’s motorists from using their phones while driving, the country’s traffic police chief has said.

Speaking to local media yesterday, Brig. Mohammed Saad al Kharji added that plans are afoot to raise the penalty so that drivers take the offense more seriously.

He did not say how much higher the fee would be, however.

QNA

Head of the traffic department, Brig. Mohamed Saad Al Kharji

Currently, motorists can incur a QR500 ticket for “using or holding a mobile phone or any other device while driving or becoming busy watching any visual object from a television set in the vehicle,” the Qatar Tribune reports.

Regarding exceptions, a police officer previously said it is OK to use a phone if your vehicle has come to a complete stop at a red traffic light.

But if the car is moving or waiting to cross a roundabout or an intersection without a signal, even holding the phone is a traffic violation.

Big problem

Phone usage has been a widespread problem on Qatar’s roads for years.

Officials say motorists are no longer texting or talking so much.

Jan Persiel/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Instead, people taking selfies and using social media while driving were responsible for 80 percent of major accidents in Qatar in 2015.

However, better enforcement was cited as the reason for a drop in the overall number of traffic accidents and deaths last year.

But people still appear to be concerned about distracted driving.

A recent enforcement campaign over the summer came on the heels of an MOI survey that found 94 percent of people polled online were worried about mobile usage while driving.

Thoughts?