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Friday, December 3, 2021

Don’t text and drive: New cameras clampdown on phone usage


Authorities in Qatar activated a new system to monitor phone usage while driving to ensure and promote road safety. 

Traffic authorities officially activated advanced CCTV cameras to detect drivers using mobile phones while driving, according to an official source.

The CCTV cameras are installed on roads and traffic signals in different locations across Qatar to control traffic-related problems that could lead to fatal accidents.

“A violation has been recorded against a woman for using her mobile phone while driving her car with children on board, causing distraction in driving,” said Director of Traffic Awareness Department of the General Directorate of Traffic, Colonel Dr Muhammad Radi Al Hajri.

He said the system has been activated for monitoring motorists as using phone devices while driving has become the most common problem distracting people from driving safely.

Read also: Qatari businessman involved in UK ‘reckless’ driving accident avoids jail time

“Mobile phone is no more a means of just taking or making calls. Instead, it has become a means of multiple communications, making users semi-addictive even while they are at home,” said Al Hajri on a Qatar Radio programme.

Thus, he urged people to avoid such behaviour while driving for everyone’s safety.

Addressing concerns over traffic congestion, the official said, “traffic platforms were also established and activated, which send awareness messages to alert motorists about traffic jams enabling them to use alternative routes.”

He added that transport companies have also been reminded of the time slots for trucks to enter and exit.

Read also: Qatar ministries come together to solve Doha’s ‘traffic nightmare’

Al Hajri assured people that hectic hours-long traffic congestion has ended, while traffic congestion at peak working hours is a normal phenomenon in any active city.

For those interested in camping, the official said, “Caravans are allowed to be transported from 8 am to 5 pm in the public interest.”

The aim is to transport caravans during daylight to avoid traffic accidents that are most likely to occur at night when the vision is not clear enough.

If these vehicles get into an accident, heavy objects can tumble, resulting in further car accidents; these tools may not be visible at night. In addition, he said, “some accidents had taken place because of flying iron pieces, which pose a threat to road users.”

An earlier report by the Directorate indicated that traffic violations have decreased due to joint efforts by Qatari authorities to ensure road safety.

The national traffic plan focuses on three aspects, intensifying training of traffic patrol officers, driving schools’ curriculum outputs, and plans related to traffic awareness.

According to the Directorate, the decline in traffic violations has been achievable due to road safety education and awareness efforts.

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