Speed limits on Qatar’s most dangerous roads should be reduced, and more speed cameras need to be installed at trouble spots, the Public Works Authority has recommended.
Speaking at the MEED Qatar Transport Conference 2013 this week, Yousef Abdulrahman al-Emadi, Ashghal’s manager of Roads Operations & Maintenance, said:
“Speed limit is an issue in Qatar. The main reason of fatalities in road accidents in Qatar is related to speed,” he said, as quoted by Gulf Times.
Al-Emadi’s comments come just as the MOI has launched the “One Second” road safety campaign, which aims to raise awareness and reduce dangerous and illegal practices like speeding, not wearing seat belts, and using a mobile phone while driving.
The campaign has been lauded by some, but criticized by others who say change on the roads will only come if police step up enforcement of the rules.
Though the number of people killed in car accidents in Qatar fell slightly last year, the number of accidents resulting in injury jumped nearly 12 percent, to 4,218.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, safety experts are also calling for reduced speed limits as a way to save lives.
This week, Dubai police have proposed a new plan to lower speed limits from 120km/h to 110km/h on its main highways and roads, including Shaikh Zayed Road.
“Reducing speed limits on roads will reduce the number of accidents and traffic fatalities,” Major General Mohammad Saif Al Zafein told Gulf News.
The road traffic accident rate in neighboring Saudi Arabia has also come under the spotlight. Some 600,000 crashes were recorded in KSA last year – an 8 precent increase from 2011. The accidents resulted in 7,638 deaths, giving Saudi Arabia the highest rate of traffic accidents in the world.
Dr. Hany Hassan, assistant professor of Transportation Engineering at King Saud University, told The National:
“This is not a traffic accident problem anymore, this is traffic terrorism. The number of deaths per year in Iraq and Afghanistan from war and terrorism is less than these fatal accidents in Saudi” said Ali Al Kamali, the managing director of Datamatix, speaking at the GCC Fatal and Horrific Accidents Prevention Conference, which is being held in Dubai.
He added that three major causes of fatal accidents were speeding; sudden lane changing and swerving; and distractions.
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Credit: Photo by Steve Hall