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Doha
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Expat driver’s licenses under scrutiny again as congestion worsens

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Traffic

Qatar’s Advisory (Shura) Council has recommended that the government re-evaluate the number of driver’s licenses issued to expats, as part of an effort to decrease congestion on the country’s roads.

The advice follows a ban on driver’s licenses for laborers, which was introduced suddenly last June, but which appears to have had little effect on congestion.

The expanding population is apparent on Qatar’s roads. In the first two months of this year, some 16,244 new vehicles were added to the roads, while 16,931 licenses were granted, the whopping majority (more than 94 percent) of them to expats, according to figures from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics.

According to the Peninsula, the council has also suggested that:

  • The government build more multi-story car parks;
  • Introduce more public transportation options including school buses and employer-provided buses for big groups of employees; and
  • Spreading out commercial areas around the city to avoid bottlenecks.

It has also recommended that the Qatari Engineers Association should be consulted on the possible redesign of entry and exit points on major roads to help reduce congestion.

Traffic safety strategy

The Advisory Council made its recommendations to the Cabinet as the government awaits a new report on congestion by the National Committee for Traffic Safety, which is expected to be completed within three months.

In the past, the committee has blamed the city’s traffic woes on its booming population (and the subsequent inevitable increase in new cars), the fact that the city has “too many” roundabouts, and unified working hours for government departments.

Last year, the government launched a 10-year National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS), which aims to save at least 800 lives and prevent 2,000 serious injuries over the next decade.

Various strategies to improve road safety have been introduced recently, including the installation of more speed cameras and a road construction and improvement program, which has included converting many of the city’s roundabouts into intersections.

Despite these efforts, however, road accidents and congestion continue to plague Qatar’s drivers, with significantly more incidents being recorded in February than in January this year.

Parking problems

Drivers in Doha don’t just contend with problems on the roads – they also often struggle to find somewhere legal and convenient to park their cars, so a move to build more multi-level parking facilities would be good news to many.

In 2012, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning proposed several ideas to ease the problem, a number of which, including charging for parking popular areas, the construction of more parking garages in busy areas such as Souq Waqif, and the building of a Metro system to improve public transport, have been acted upon.

However, a recommendation to house people near their workplaces, allowing pedestrians to walk to work, has yet to see any significant progress.

Thoughts?

92 COMMENTS

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koko
koko
6 years ago

It’s not giving expats driving licenses is the problem, it’s people obeying the rules is the problem.. most traffic congestion is because some of us are on the right lane to take that exit while others are on that lane to take a left.. and just because they were at the end of the line decided it would be easier to go to the front from the wrong lane… patience in this country is also a problem.. No one seems to have any…if your going to give out a driving license actually make sure they can drive and not because of “Wasta”…

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  koko

I would like to add, if one misses their turn off then just go to the next one. Do not try to cross 3 lanes holding up the whole road or reverse back into oncoming traffic. I have seen both so many times.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago

yeah its about time someone did something about expats crazy driving, now if only we can get them to stop smoking in doors that would be great

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Also stop them beeping horn outside shops..crazy fellas…:-)

sadam
sadam
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

drive thru system =)

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  sadam

Love it. Except when I cant get past!

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

Improper planning

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago

Is that your stock response to anything traffic related?

Yes it is poor planning, but how about some solutions? It is difficult to plan and allow for road congestion at the best of times, let alone when a city’s population is booming at the rate that Doha’s is!

If you consider that Doha’s population is likely to require, what was it, 1 million more folks to build all the infrastructure for Q2022, and say all of those were labourers that work in 2 shifts, so 500k per shift, that means there needs to be 8334 more 60-seater buses on the road every shift change. Can you imagine the carnage that’ll create alone???? Imagine 8.3k more Tata buses….

As someone noted, placing ALL the schools in the same area, and ALL the commercial towers in the same (different across town) area, hasn’t helped. Adding to that the fact that none, not one! (well maybe 2 that I can think of offhand), has sufficient parking for the employees that work there, its a recipe for disaster. Add to that mix a complete and utter disregard for etiquette on the roads, and road rules and you may just come up with Doha traffic.

I, for one, moved closer to work, and it has helped, but there are still snarl points where the traffic is crazy just due to sheer volume

koko
koko
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Can i add one more…. y are all schools and government entities starting and finishing at the same times??? Create a change in working hours and maybe that way we might not all be on he roads at the same time.. even in Ramadan (which is coming up soon) they do the same thing.. ohhh lets start later.. n then we all start together.. give the option.. u wanna start at 6, 7 or 8, and take it from there… I don’t understand y schools start at 7am anyhow.. schools back home start at 9am and finish at 3.. y do schools here start at 7am and finish at the same time??? with the exceptional few..

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  koko

Good point on the schools. My Little one has after school programs 2 days a week making pick up at 3, it is absolute bliss compared to the battle I have when pick up is at 1.45. Stagger the times across different schools and see the difference.

Vanessa
Vanessa
6 years ago
Reply to  koko

Not to mention… 7:00am seems so early for sleepy kiddos!

Iain James
Iain James
6 years ago

I remember being incredulous at the restrictions on granting licences to laborers and lower paid workers last year: it was never going to have any effect. How can the poor guys even afford cars on QR1000 a month? They’re obviously not the problem.

1.Better public transport.
2. Tougher, immediate action by police on traffic offences and enforcement of existing rules.
3. Investment in roads and parking facilities
4. Investment in pavements and pedestrian crossings. People WILL walk if it’s safe to do so!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Iain James

Can’t have people walking on pavements, that the VIP lane to drive along to push in up ahead isn’t it?

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

So true. Why should I have to wait 2 minutes, when instead I can jump the line and make the others wait for 10 minutes.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Good point you have convinced me, I’m going the pavement from now on, then traffic congestion is not a problem for me, who cares about anyone else they can wait longer to allow me to push in.

Guest
Guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

The landcruisers already do that but they seem to get stuck when they hit the lamp posts.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

The Toyota Land camels already do that but they seem to get stuck when they run into the lamp posts.

AFG
AFG
6 years ago
Reply to  Iain James

5. Be wiser in planning construction work on the road. Don’t do all the construction throughout Doha streets at the same time like there is no tomorrow.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  AFG

6. Take a trip to Dubai and learn how they sorted it out!

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Dubai sorted it by running out of money!

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  dubious

that was only a short period of time.

Sorry to contradict you, but Dubai won a few recognitions and it has some of the best highways and streets in the world. Plus an excellent metro that was seen skeptical by many and turned out to be very efficient and covering some of the most trafficked routes in town.

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

woosh! Perhaps I should have added a “:)”?

Regional or international recognition? Regional does not count as there is so much of a mutual appreciation society going on, all are suspect. Metro is great if your journey is close to the route or you can find parking at one end. It is still too limited though, and the build out is taking a long time.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  dubious

fair enough. However, we don’t have even a metro yet! So Doha has still a long way to go, plus, why don’t they learn to do things right from the beginning instead of starting something the cheap way, then wait to see that it actually failed and then trying to put a patch on the previous job and turning out spending more money if the job was done properly since the beginning?
Think big, instead of think cheap and you will see differences.

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Doha’s metro looks to deliver pretty good coverage, certainly compared Dubai’s one

It is frustrating that we can see so much not being done right from the start though. There was a time when the Arab stereotype was of a wiley businessman planning for the long term. Unfortunately these days it is probably something about over-privileged lads and badly driven flash cars.

The information is out there but where is incorporating lessons learned from places like Dubai and Singapore? Where is an pervasive adoption of international best practices? Where is the streamlined labour/business market? Etc. etc.

A place as tiny as Doha with so much work and a majority of people the government does not need to care about (in terms of approval ratings) the government could really be throwing its weight around setting standards and practises. Instead what we get is weird mandates, knee-jerk reaction, and groups off doing their own thing and other groups being tasked with forming committees to launch probes.

Jasmine
Jasmine
6 years ago
Reply to  Iain James

Rightly said

Dhn
Dhn
6 years ago

It is simple. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

I guess the quickest and fastest solution would be to ban the largest population in Qatar from driving. Yep, ban all Indians from having driving licences.

You may think I’m joking but wait and see….

sadam
sadam
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

i’m so happy to see that i’m not the only racist around here =) but apportioning blame on them simply won’t cut it. Have a look at all you hypocrites who drive a car to work rather than carpooling or taking the bus to work…can’t blame ya.. cuz convenient & cozy public transportation is non-existent.

“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars, it’s where the rich use public transportation”-Enrique Penalosa

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I’m hoping that was firmly tongue in cheek… but there is a grain of truth to it, you just need to see the traffic in any large south east asian city. Be thankful we don’t have to contend with Tuk-Tuks as well!

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Indeed I was, but how long before the council adopts the idea so locals can get to work easier. They are making life difficult for Indians now, no work visa, family status restrictions so this would be another way to reduce the Indian over population

Fawaz Kizhakkethil
Fawaz Kizhakkethil
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I feel pity for you. If you check Dubai, dubai has got way more indians than doha. Yet nobody complains. The problem is with the infrastructure not with expats. If all Indians where to leave this country i wonder how much of your country’s work will be done.

Rapha31
Rapha31
6 years ago

50%, because half of them are not really doing anything. Sorry, I can’t help it, it’s a joke. hehehe

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

It was a joke, however sometimes the reality in the gulf is stranger than fiction. Maybe Indians will only be allowed to drive on odd days of the month and Filipinos will be banned for even days. Voila! Less congestion on the roads.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

You only get more votes up than me because there are more Indians in Qatar than any other nationality…. 😉

Saffa
Saffa
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Next you’ll be sayin’ “wimin” shouldn’t be driving 😉

Lionel_Shaon_
Lionel_Shaon_
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

It’s about time

Net-guy
Net-guy
6 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

well it would cut down on the congestion….im just sayin…:P

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Yep MIMH, they are certainly the ones driving all the 4×4’s, Custom Bikes and the Ferrari’s…..:))))) Actually I think the largest population is Nepalese.

AMM
AMM
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I have to agree and it is not racism but simple truth, the entire World knows how bad is driving in India. I truly believe everyone who comes to Qatar should go through some kind of driving test both written and on the road, people don’t know simple rules how to change lanes, turn, the “right hand rule” etc. I live here for almost 7 years now and it has been always them causing problems on the streets, making the most ridiculous moves-my favorite is when I see a car in front of me and you can just tell he will make some mad move, than boom indicating right, going left…or the way they change lanes and they slow down instead of accelerate! Qataris drive in an aggressive way but they know what they are doing, they have certain confidence…Driving here is like playing a computer game sometimes, you never know from which side some obstacle will arise…

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  AMM

People know the rules.
They also know there is virtually no enforcement of the rules.

Once inconsiderate people realise that, the necessarily co-operative mindset needed for a society to drive safely evaporates and they do whatever inconveniences them the least.
As roads work like communism (everyone equally doing their part!) it doesn’t take many bad eggs to start making things rotten through a `if he can do that, I will too` mentality.
I will bet that if this mythical highway patrol ever materializes and starts issuing tickets for driving like a prat, people will magically recall the rules.

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
6 years ago

A novel idea might be to stop registering all these new cars. Maybe only register a new one after an old one has been disposed of. If the authorities didn’t keep registering all these new cars we wouldn’t now have so many on the road. Doesn’t matter how many people have licences it’s down to the number of cars.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

That all sounds a bit convoluted and complicated. It’s not rocket science. Tax petrol so it is 10 times more expensive and let the market decide. I’d happily pay significantly more for clearer and safer roads.

AFG
AFG
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Not that simple, my dear friend. People will still buy petrol & cars no matter what the price is. They have no option. Traffic will not ease with this action. Infact, you will see further escalation of inflation due to rising cost of businesses.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  AFG

Seems to work for Singapore (with a few other measures). I fail to see why it can’t work here. People aren’t going to drive at any price (USD 100 a litre?). At a certain price point a rise (preferably abrupt) gets people out of their cars. Alternatives develop pretty quickly when they have to. Walk, bike, motorbike, minibus – you’d be surprised what people think of. High business costs are already happening because of congestion. There is a point where the costs/benefits meet.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I drive to work and to do shopping. That’s it. No other way of getting to either. I drive in the right lane, never on the hard shoulder, wait my turn, give way to people, keep to the speed limit, wear a seat belt. I get harassed by speed mad drivers driving with full headlamps flashing, get forced off the road, have near misses as some large vehicle forces its way in without a by your leave. Now you suggest making petrol 10 x more expensive. If I earned 10 x the salary, no problem. However, I am an expat.
Solution? Raise and enforce the driving age; enforce the rules with endorsements on licenses; provide decent safe cheap/free universal bus transport with decent safe, air cooled bus stops in reasonable places;

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

My way is a lot quicker than yours. Most people will find some way of getting to work and food. The rest will find somewhere else that suits them better.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

@AEC Tell me , how would you manage without your car? A taxi?

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

There’s a bus service to/from work. Food is walking distance. Taxi as needed.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

There is no bus service from my home to where I work. How on earth do you manage to carry a family shop home on foot? I can barely push the trolley from checkout to car, or are you suggesting I shop a little everyday after work. Try living in the real world. Transport is not an optional extra

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

I am not really interested in your situation – or mine. Who says I even have a family to shop for? I do live in the “real” world and have lived in many different parts of the world that all deal with traffic issues differently. The “real world” here is that there are traffic problems and building more roads for more cars is not going to solve those problems. You are right that transport is not an optional extra but if you subsidise one mode people are going to prefer it. Here that preferred and subsidised mode is the car.

Rapha31
Rapha31
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I am very sure petrol is subsidized for Qatar and Qataris, not for expats. You can ask MIMH. 🙂

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Rapha31

So you think Qataris want ridiculously cheap petrol and blocked roads and cheap enough petrol and clear roads?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

And this is why in 2014 Singapore was considered as the worlds most expansive city

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I think you meant “expensive” (It’s only a small place). It was also rated 3rd on the 2013 HSBC best place for expats survey. Qatar was not even in the top 10.

AFG
AFG
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

This time i agree with AEC. Its an expensive city, but you are getting back what u payed for. The salary is good out there and the public transportation is so efficient that people will give you a weird look if you try to run to catch a bus at bus stop. Coz the next bus will come in a matter of minutes. There’s no reason to own a car.

koko
koko
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Yes, but in Singapore ppl are free to go and do what they like and work wherever the pay is better.. here.. u want to raise everything.. but salaries are not being raised and we need our cars as it is actually cheaper to run your own car rather than get into a taxi… plus.. if everything is being raised here then maybe i should get a better paying job??? Ehhhh not possible if my employer won’t give me an NOC… stick to logical plans for the rest of us expats that don’t earn the thousands that ppl think we are ALL getting….

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  koko

That’s the whole point – as long as cars are relatively cheap to run the roads are going to be too full.

koko
koko
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

I’m sry.. but I don’t trust taxi drivers or bus drivers with my life… I’d rather drive my own car.. and believe me.. Insurance is not that cheap either.. maybe by 2022 this country will be ready for all of your suggestions as by then they should have the rail system in place, more taxi’s, more buses and hopefully better and more roads… but as long as this country has nothing else to offer.. then let us get on with our lives rather than up root them again with more inflation…

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  koko

I have no problem with driving your own car for whatever reason. I don’t think, however, that you should be subsidized to do so. This is just adding to the generally chaotic system in place at the moment. If you want it you should have to pay the actual price for it and not be adversely impacting on everyone else’s quality of life. There is no inherent right to drive. This is not the US in the 1950s.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Although sometimes it seems like it is trying to be.

koko
koko
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Srsly??? Subsidized to do so??? Ehhh no… We do pay the actual price for driving here in this country if not more.. the only thing we don’t pay extra for is petrol.. but that is our only advantage of driving a car… Insurance is deadly expensive, cars themselves are overly priced, maintenance and spare parts are ridiculous.. so plzzz.. we are already living in one of the most expensive countries in the world and not paid enough to stay here so lets just try and move past this… and find other means and ways to solve the traffic problems here…

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  koko

The real cost of transport is mostly in the fuel over time and compared to the global price fuel is heavily subsidized here. As for the cost of living Qatar is not even in the top 10 in most surveys -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_cities_for_expatriate_employees. As I said originally I, for one, would be happy to pay more for fuel to alleviate the traffic congestion. I suspect others would too. As for what people are paid here that is a completely different issue.

AFG
AFG
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

You have a point there, however, i rather compare Doha with less developed country, like Malaysia. There’s ever increasing fuel price, tolls and expensive parking fees but ppl have no other choice but stick with their car. The reason? lack of efficient public system in Malaysia, and worse in Doha. Walking and bike does not work in Malaysia, let alone Doha, unless one plan to work only on winter.
Putting ridiculous price on fuel will not put ppl out of the car, but out of this country to work elsewhere.

dubious
dubious
6 years ago

Who’d have thought that grouping a pile of schools together, or a bunch of malls, or all the offices would cause congestion! What crazy person is now suggesting spreading them around?

Doha could do with more dedicated multi-story car parks (we still have a problem with people parking illegally directly outside the one here though) but what would really help is mandating that all new towers have sufficient internal or on-plot parking before granting them permission to build. And I don’t mean 1 spot per office or per 8-bed apartment, I mean realistic amounts.
It also doesn’t seem like a great idea to start restricting licenses without having a realistic alternative in place.

Harry Boy
Harry Boy
6 years ago

it’s not about limiting the license to expats but abiding with traffic rules & regulations, i’ve seen lots who disregard this and majority of them are not expats

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
6 years ago
Reply to  Harry Boy

I’m not exactly sure. I’ve seen a lot of expats violating traffic laws. Many are bringing in what they’ve learned in their home country to Qatar, which is problematic.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Harry Boy

i seriously disagree with you… everyone.. even expat soccer moms violate traffic laws… qataris and indians and arab expats are the worest.. but everyone violates it… and putting a cop on each corner will be too little to control it…

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Nothing ticks me off more than seeing a Western mom driving a giant Range Rover pushing in or jumping the curb to try and pass you while giving you a dirty look as she drives by. They know better and would never try that at home. (And I’m a western mom, too- Which makes it even more maddening!!!)

Aussiegirl
Aussiegirl
6 years ago

I have to agree, as a “western mum” I try to abide by the road rules and behave in a courteous manner to other road users. It really gets on my nerves when I see people who know better and pretend to have good manners driving this way. They’re not ignorant, just rude cows.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

Maybe provide people with realistic alternatives like a proper public transportation system. Also, put in place seperate lanes for Buses/ Carpool . But ofcourse, it is much easier to make snap decisions which might provide a temporary relief instead of actually solving the problem.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Extra lane for Bus or car pool…and people would obey the rule and not drive in it of course because they obey all other traffic rules…

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

Enforcement of traffic rules, too hard. Let’s just drink Karak instead.

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
6 years ago

There should be unmarked vehicles with Dashboard Cameras driving around Doha, which will visually record each violation. And It will be driven by Qataris to ameliorate the unemployment rate in Qatar. (Two birds in one stone!)

The first two recorded violations should be a text warning. the third, and onward, will result in financial penalties corresponding to the violation. Just a suggestion!

R_Chow
R_Chow
6 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

The problem with this idea is that this vehicle will stay stuck in one intersection the whole morning, unless he jumps on the side walk and breaks the law himself to catch others 🙂

6x6filmart Qatar
6x6filmart Qatar
6 years ago

Everybody could have positive impact on the traffic. Some issues that you can observe in daily road traffic and should be avoided:
– Keeping to much distance to the car in front while waiting at a red traffic light. Think about the others behind you – the space what you are wasting might be required by the last cars behind you (e.g. to get into the lane for left turns to avoid blocking the traffic going straight)
– Permanent driving on the left line and blocking cars behind you, while the right lane is empty.
– On the phone while driving. Difficulties in keeping the lane or loosing speed are clear signs that the one in front of you is more busy with his phone than driving his car.
– As already earlier mentioned by koko, patience is something what is really missing. People using the slip roads for overtaking the traffic on the main road as well as the people who are overtaking other cars waiting on the right lane to take a right turn and squeezing in at the front. What are this people thinking? Do they think they are especially clever and laughing about the cars waiting in the lane while causing more traffic problems the way they are acting?
– DONT’T BLOCK A CROSSING! Only access a crossing if you can fully cross it. If the traffic get stucked in front of you, have to wait until you can ensure that you don’t have to stop at the crossing.
– Sometimes you get the impression that some people fully forget that there are also cars behind them. Suddenly stopping and changing lanes without using turn lights and considering others are only a view of the daily observations.
One thing I never understood is the corniche. There is a road where cars can drive 80 while there are parking slots directly connected to the road. This is not only a problem for the traffic, but also a real serious safety issue as you can see almost daily.
And please…. use safetybelts! If people are so stupid to think they are bulletproof, at least they should buckle on their kids.
“When an automobile strikes an obstacle at 50 km/h, the impact multiplies the weight of a person or an object by 20.
In other words, an individual who weighs 70 kg becomes a 1,400 kg projectile.The person is then projected against the front seat, the dashboard, the windshield, another passenger, or even ejected from the vehicle. At 50 km/h, the impact of a crash is equivalent to an automobile falling from a four storey building. At 90 km/h, the impact is identical to a fall from a ten storey building!” Source: http://www.saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/documents/pdf/prevention/html/buckle_up.html

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

crash test dummies – kids with & without seatbelts – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZFMmNqCvbc

Amr ElGamal
Amr ElGamal
6 years ago

Well, imposing restrictions on driving license will not solve the problem it just exporting it to someone else , which is the citizen who can’t drive and does not have other options. the same can be applied for banning parking in some areas giving tickets also with no alternate solution.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

1. Hike up the annual registration fee, license fee and car insurance making it more expansive to own and operate a car. Including raising the cost of subsidized gasoline, I can’t believe 95% of license applicants are expats and Qatar’s government has to subsidize the price gasoline for everyone! Makes no sense at all! I’m assuming the government pays 8 riyals for every 2 riyals of gasoline you purchase.

2. Add more, then some more, buses on the road. Make the buses free and add free wifi service to the buses. The whole failed West Bay Bus Service. Expand it, i.e. Saad, Al Nasser, Hamad Hospital, City Centre or Industrial Area, Old Matter, LuLu Hypermarket Airport area and so on. Then more and more people will use them.

3. Have sponsors sponsor air conditioned bus stop pods. i.e. ooredoo purchases and pays for the maintenance of twenty bus stop pods around town that are air-conditioned, solar powered, and have electronic displays of
bus schedules and routes. In exchange their brand is only advertised at such a bus stop for the next five year.

4. Minimum wage to own a car. In Kuwait you have to make a certain amount of money to own permit to own a car. Anyone three individuals in Qatar who make 1,000 QR a month each can easily pool their money a buy a 20-year old Honda Civic.
5. Ban any car that is over 20 years old. 25 and 20 year old cars are very cheap, they breakdown, cause pollution and tend to drive 50 km/h on a 120 km/h highway.

6. The times I’ve seen a certain nationality holding up traffic for kilometers because they simply got into a fender bender. Charge people 1,000 riyals or more if they call the traffic police for a fender bender, this way they’d be encouraged to actually move their car and drive to the closet police station. If you can drive it you move it.

7. CCTVs. CCTV everywhere! Every main intersection, every traffic light. Then outsource the contract of managing the CCTV and identifying traffic offenders to a third party. In the UK, if you park in a handicap spot, a non-government entity will come and lock your wheel or tow your car. You pay a fee to this company to unlock your car or retrieve it. Apply this in Doha, the police either get an annual license fee from such a company or a royalty payment for every ticket they issue. Make fines a profit driven businesses and fines will start flying out and people will think twice.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

You forgot the free espresso on the buses.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

boy you so funny ..

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

“I can’t believe 95% of license applicants are expats and Qatar’s government has to subsidize the price gasoline for everyone! Makes no sense at all!” – Makes perfect sense. We all live here. Why should there be any difference between us. Perhaps it should work on productivity. The more efficient and hard working one is the cheaper the fuel supplied.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Its not often I agree with you but they are sensible solutions. The price of gas is ridicolous here, so much so all fast food restuarants deliver and companies use drivers to deliver letters rather than the postal service. (Which is crap)
If they put the price of gas up to the break even point for the government then the locals will complain but they can afford it anyway. If you can afford to just replace your car when you crash it, you can afford to pay more for gas. Moaning expats should realise it is still cheaper than what they pay back home and it will limit uncessary journeys.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago

So the solution to having too many cars is not to build infrastructure and conduct planning in a universal and systematic way, but rather just discriminate against people because they are expats. How about proper urban planning. How about issuing building permits only after traffic studies are conducted. How about a proper highway system with controlled entrance and exits? What about enforcing laws based on people breaking them instead of where they are from? Doha needs to take a universal look at the issues with transportation. Taking a driver off the road and replacing them with a taxi instead solves nothing. How is that person to get to work? Maybe they need Tata buses for the government workers? Or for some other band or group of people. Go to any major city in the world and a conversation about limiting who gets to drive as a solution to traffic is non-existent. It simply is not a solution. The people still have to get about, go to work, and the only alternative is a taxi or car service. So then the traffic issue is not solved. Trains and buses help, but until the city comes up with a proper urban plan and builds and constructs infrastructure to support development rather than development without a thought to infrastructure this will continue to be a growing problem.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago

Move the Land Cruiser Service Center to Al Khor…………………………and open it from 4pm to 8pm only. On Tuesdays. That should at least save some lives and ease congestion………………

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

boy you so funny

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

See you there then!!!

Pete
Pete
6 years ago

The person who isn’t allowed to own a car still needs to commute. The only option is a taxi (which there already aren’t enough of).

But consider this:
Person to office in own car……30 minutes
Person back home in own car…30 minutes
ROAD TIME……1 hour

Taxi to collect person…..30 minutes
Taxi to office……………….30 minutes
Taxi to collect from office…30 minutes
Taxi back home……………30 minutes
ROAD TIME……2 Hours!

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

The authorities and companies here are already struggling to recruit expats due to the conditions. This will only further the problems. With increasing competition with Dubai Qatar really needs to raise its game. Qatar needs to think long and hard before it places further restrictions on expats.

BBCA
BBCA
6 years ago

How about you focus some attention on public transportation. You got all this money and you ill advisedly built a compact city. You created your own problem. Instead of trying to scrutinize people’s drivers license why dont you scrutinize your city planning efforts. In the meantime while you build a rail system How about you increase the bus system. Make it accurate and more available. and send public service announcements out to encourage the use of it. to me the article is addressing the wrong thing.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

There’s a unique idea. Charge for parking. So now more LCs can take up more sidewalk to avoid paying.
Must have been some laborers LC.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

I believe it all falls under the guise of urban planning.Personally I’d much rather walk or bus to work if that was the case,and save my car for other uses.But few have those options.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

One common theme in all the posts:

The current rules need to be enforced. Can Doha News ask the police why they fail / refuse to enforce the law on the roads? Doha News team, any thoughts?

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