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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Is it time for Qatar to hire traffic police?

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Two kids were killed in a traffic accident in Mesaieed yesterday after a burst tire caused their family’s vehicle to roll over, media reports state.

The children were not wearing seat belts.

In a separate rollover accident, a 20-year-old Qatari woman was killed in the Sealine area of Mesaieed.

A day earlier, five Hamad Medical Corp. employees were killed following a tragic minibus crash on Monday.

Road safety has taken on a renewed importance in Qatar, and with good reason.

In a short experiment, the Gulf Times visited several busy traffic intersections yesterday and witnessed several instances of bad behavior:

During a 15-minute period at one intersection, at least 12 drivers were seen using their mobile phones at the wheel, a practice which has been consistently identified by the authorities as a cause of numerous accidents.

As well as talking on the telephone while driving, other offences witnessed included numerous drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts, drivers tailgating fellow motorists, using the emergency lanes to queue jump and various other indiscretions.

Qatar already has laws prohibiting reckless driving and mobile phone usage while driving (breaking them could result in fines or imprisonment), but no one on the roads enforces these rules.

In other countries, traffic police will physically stop drivers engaging in bad behavior and write them up for it. 

This doesn’t happen here, but maybe it should.

What do you guys think? Should the country consider adding traffic police to Doha’s dangerous roads?

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