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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Double-parked cars will be towed, Qatar’s traffic department warns

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Motorists who double-park their cars risk having them towed away and face steep fines, a senior traffic department official said as he announced a crackdown on a practice that regularly clogs Qatar’s streets.

Brig. Mohammed Saad Al Kharji, Director of the Traffic Department, said the tough measures against drivers were already being enforced by police in certain areas as a way to improve traffic flow.

That applies to districts that suffer from particularly acute parking crunches, such as Dafna, the old downtown, Souq Waqif and the areas surrounding Doha’s shopping malls during the evenings and weekends.

Previously, drivers who parked illegally only faced fines. However, Al Kharji said that this hasn’t acted as a sufficient deterrent, and so tougher action was necessary.

Under the latest measures, illegally parked cars would be towed and the driver required to pay a release fee in addition to clearing all fines for any additional violations recorded against them. The misdemeanor will be recorded against the driver’s license for future reference, Al Kharji said.

An additional parking fee would be imposed on motorists who don’t collect their cars within 24 hours.

This is not the first time that drivers have been warned of towing, though Al Kharji’s latest statement in police magazine Al Shurta Maak (Police with You) implies that police are taking a firmer line on the issue.

“This violation is not something new, but it has increased recently by motorists who do not respect others’ rights. So we have been forced to take new actions to curb this annoying behavior,” the Peninsula quotes him as saying.

He continued:

“Earlier we used to impose fines on the erring vehicles. But some people don’t care about fines. They may have the capability to pay the fine and they tend to repeat the violation.

If we tow away the car and detain it for a few hours, they may realize the seriousness and this could prevent them from repeating the violation,” he adds.

Parking shortage

Over the past couple of years, Qatar has had to grapple with serious infrastructure issues, as the country’s population rises, and around 8,400 new vehicles a month take to the roads.

Coupled with construction in areas with empty lots that used to act as unofficial car parks, Doha faces a serious shortage of parking.

The situation prompts some to park their cars illegally, often double-parking and blocking in other drivers.

The Traffic Law (No. 5 of 2010) prohibits motorists from parking their vehicles in unauthorized places, or in a way that may create an obstacle or hindrance for other cars, and gives the traffic department the authority to tow the cars and recover transportation costs and applicable fines from violators.

While the fine imposed on a driver isn’t specified, a list of traffic violations posted by MOI show that parking-related citations carry a QR300 fine and three points on the driver’s record.

Other measures

Towing double-parkers is the latest attempt by the Ministry of Interior to improve roads conditions in Qatar.

In the first month of this being introduced, 100 cars a day (the equivalent of 3,000 a month) were seized for illegal overtaking, the Traffic Department said.

And more than two years ago, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning said it was considering a number of measures as it tried to improve congestion on Qatar’s roads.

Introducing parking charges at popular venues, building more multi-story car parks and housing people closer to their workplaces were among the proposals under consideration.

At the time, the MMUP also said it would require new buildings (for the public and private sector) to have an approved parking plan in place before commencing construction.

Would the threat of towing stop you from double-parking? Thoughts?

27 COMMENTS

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Chris
Chris
6 years ago

I think this is a great initiative. However, there are two problems at play here. First, a lack of respect for anyone else, and the second is a complete lack of parking facilities. Provide sufficient parking, and this becomes less of an issue.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Chris

It will still be an issue. I see plenty of mostly LCs double parked when there ARE parking spots available but that would require the owners of said LCs to walk a further 50 feet. Can’t have that.

Enceladus
Enceladus
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

No doubt it’s true. Besides the State of Qatar is obliged to provide the infrastructures (parking and not only) specially when the rate of new cars taking the roads is so wild. Shows only a terrible planning on this matter. Anyway, the initiative is positive and for once I would give this place and their rulers some credit.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

50 feet? Can my maid piggy back me?

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

I have my wife cradle me like a baby for the LOOOONG walk in.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Yawn

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I’m with you, all these annoucements on traffic regulation are rather boring.

truth.e.ness
truth.e.ness
6 years ago

I’m sure that the traffic police have a fleet of tow trucks on the ready, full of men who are unafraid to tow a wasta-ful person’s car. yeah, right.

sadam
sadam
6 years ago

Can i legally smash cars parked in front of my gate?

Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
6 years ago

Frankly at this rate, the government should only allow large attractions and offices to be built outside Doha. The city is congested and double parked cars aren’t the main issue. Having banks in grand Hamad with limited staff parking leads to customers having to park creatively. The same applies for companies based in west bay.

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

park and ride is the answer – busses for now, but the metro stations should be the hubs for this – the metro will be late, so put in an interim solution with bus lanes. … but then i must be dreaming, even thinking something so forward looking might happen !

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

Please not dedicated bus lanes since they take an entire lane out of service and will make traffic even worse!

dubious
dubious
6 years ago

Since there is such an lack of public parking, MMUP needs to reject permits for any new building, residential, commercial or industrial, that does not have sufficient on-site parking.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

“This is not the first time that drivers have been warned of towing, though Al Kharji’s latest statement in police magazine Al Shurta Maak (Police with You) implies that police are taking a firmer line on the issue.”

Wow, it’s in the magazine now, top urgent serious stuff then

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

They should tattoo to it on to your behind to show you how serious they are this time around.

Expat_QTR
Expat_QTR
6 years ago

A Good sign of relief. They should also visit Doha Al Jadeed where there is NO double but Triple parking on narrow streets making it impossible to even drive. But then if they really do that, they would not have space to keep all the towed cars. *sigh* . But will be happy to see some good results in the next coming days.

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat_QTR

Coming days?! Welcome to Qatar

LBHK
LBHK
6 years ago

News flash: Laws might get enforced…

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago

I work near a ministry and a lot of times it’s not parked cars that cause a problem. It’s cars with drivers who are all trying to get as close as possible to the front door and please their master with not having to walk too far.

It will also be interesting (probably disappointing) to see how (if) it’s enforced. If true, I like the idea of making someone pay all outstanding fines to get their car back. Hopefully that’s what will happen.

I also like that there will extra fines for not collecting the cars. It seems like this is a move to encourage facing the music, which I think is a good idea. If they want to create more urgency to collect the car they should charge by the day with increasing “storage” rates as time passes.

Can people send in pictures of double parked cars to the MOI to report or will this be frowned upon as “invasion of privacy?” I’d be happy to set up a Twitter account and give everyone that wants it access in order to facilitate this initiative that the MOI finally seems to think is important.

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Every day behind the Ministry of Social Affairs around 1pm is complete carnage because drivers can’t possibly wait at sensible locations, or even in most cases be bothered to pull in to a gap between illegally parked cars to pick up passengers.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago

Some of the roads in Najma and Mansoura (and even West Bay) are so rammed full of double parked cars that the tow truck itself wouldn’t be able to squeeze down the roads to tow away the cars causing the problems in the first place.

Yet another puff of hot air. Nothing will change because we have all seen the actually enforcing the rules in a country full of above-the-law offenders is basically impossible.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

I think this is a plot to free up more double-parking spaces for the Qatari.

SHELLsafety
SHELLsafety
6 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

Ha ha!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Does this apply to citizens or just expats?

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Once had a Qatari park his LC behind me when there was space everywhere around him to park. When I asked him to move he told me I should wait. Why? Because I am Qatari he said to me.

j'enaiassez
j'enaiassez
6 years ago

Right .. Those who double park will always be able to get out of it without paying a penny or wasting their time with it. Almost everyone has connections, and those who don’t, well they have respect for others and never double park in the first place.

Ashif Majeed
Ashif Majeed
5 years ago

A solution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://youtu.be/r9DWZHAH5V4

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