Updated on June 26 to reflect comments from a traffic consultant.
Qatar residents who spot motorists breaking road rules are being reminded that they can take photos of the violations and report them to the country’s Ministry of Interior (MOI), through the Metrash 2 mobile phone app.
In two animated short videos recently posted on Facebook, MOI highlighted the importance of not blocking yellow box junctions, and to not overtake other motorists by driving on the shoulder.
The option to report road violators was first introduced at the end of last year, to a welcome reception. But so far, the short videos have only shown pedestrians reporting violators.
This has prompted some residents to point out that there are very few people walking on Qatar’s streets, especially in the summer. The more likely scenario would be that those who are driving or stopped at a traffic light would spot violations.
However, there is concern about taking photos and reporting other motorists because it is a violation of Qatar’s traffic law to use a mobile phone while driving. Speaking to Doha News, a traffic consultant here said that the app should only be used by passengers and pedestrians – not those who are driving.
Additionally, some residents have commented that they would feel uncomfortable taking photos of Qatari nationals.
Finally, as the Metrash reporting system requires photos to be taken with the GPS coordinates of where the violation took place, the user would have to upload the picture immediately, which could be difficult and potentially dangerous if they are driving at the time.
The videos are part of Qatar’s latest campaign to reduce congestion and ensure more people abide by the traffic laws. Last month, for example, MOI posted a list of tips on car horn etiquette on its Facebook page.
It featured “dos and dont’s” such as not using the horn to say “hello” to a friend on the road and to get the attention of a shopkeeper while sitting in the car.
And just last week, the Traffic Department announced a crack-down on drivers who cut in from the right at intersections and roundabouts, threatening to impound the cars of repeat offenders.
Do you plan to report any violators you spot? Thoughts?