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Friday, September 17, 2021

MOI offers seven tips on staying safe for Qatar pedestrians

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Qatar crosswalk by Kyle McDonald/Flickr
Qatar crosswalk by Kyle McDonald/Flickr

Pedestrians are a vulnerable bunch in Qatar, where a lack of sidewalks and speeding vehicles are common problems. Last year, 80 people, mostly Asian expats, were killed while crossing roads here, and more than 200 were hospitalized with severe injuries.

To raise safety awareness, the Ministry of Interior recently offered these tips for pedestrians:

  • Cross only at places where there are crosswalks, pedestrian signals or in front of traffic police;
  • Avoid walking too close to the roads;
  • Constantly scan the road while crossing, and listen closely for the approach of any vehicles;
  • Wait to cross if cars are passing too quickly;
  • Avoid running across intersections to prevent falls;
  • Wear light-colored or bright or reflective clothing if crossing roads in dark areas, so that drivers can see you more easily; and
  • Always hold young children’s hands when crossing the street.

The MOI also urged motorists to reduce their speeds when approaching intersections, crosswalks and roundabouts.

Finally, it advised drivers to be more attentive near hospitals, schools, masjids and residential areas where pedestrians may be walking, and to be careful when reversing their cars.

What advice would you add? Thoughts?

24 COMMENTS

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Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago

My advice- Stick to the Footpaths and Overhead Crossings. Oh wait, we are in Qatar, some of these roads don’t even have them.

Revised advice – Don’t walk.

popeyee
popeyee
7 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

Overhead crossings or pedestrian overpass? Where? Not one that I can see or heard of…

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago

One thing I try to do is make eye contact with any driver approaching the intersection I’m wanting to cross, no matter who has the right of way. That way I at least know the driver knows I’m there (what they do with that info is still a mystery sometimes). But it’s difficult in Qatar because so many drivers have their heads buried in their phones and also because there are a lot of windshields with super dark tint. It’s tough with all the cars parked on the few sidewalks that do exist, so the best advice I could give is to keep your head on a swivel and always expect any driver to do the most idiotic thing possible. That way, when it happens you’re at least somewhat prepared to evade.

One last thing: if you’re crossing a one-way street look BOTH ways. There are too many drivers that are either lost or (think they’re) above the law to assume traffic will only come from one direction.

Ben
Ben
7 years ago

A couple of footbridges in the busier areas would make a massive difference. They cannot be very expensive either.
I see people leg it across the C-Ring every day from the office window. Have witnessed many near misses and a fatality.

bleh!!
bleh!!
7 years ago
Reply to  Ben

The whole stretch of D-ring road in between Mall Signal and Airport Signal does not have a single safe crossing for pedestrians. you can only “safely” cross at the lulu intersection.
but that’s the case with all the roads here. the only foot bridge i have seen here is near the old arrivals terminal!
regarding speeding even if the driver sees you instead of at least slowing down they will speed up.

Cerebus
Cerebus
7 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Even with cross walks and bridges people still try walking through traffic.

popeyee
popeyee
7 years ago
Reply to  Ben

there was plan of foot bridge several years ago across the expressway (one is near the Salwa Road) but residents of neighboring houses opposed as it would give passersby chance to see their backyards…

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
7 years ago
Reply to  popeyee

I heard there was plans for Corniche too but higher up objected as it’s a VIP route and the risk of bombs on overhead and underground crossings was too high

popeyee
popeyee
7 years ago

So, never mind the risks being encountered by those who wants to cross the roads….so sad

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  popeyee

Don’t forget that in most places the people own the country and are represented by the government. In the Gulf the Emir / King owns the country, the people simply live there.

Cerebus
Cerebus
7 years ago

I nearly wiped out a gent that was playing Frogger Live trying to cross the D-Ring just before Ramadan. He literally was nearly missed by a few centimeters, and not just by myself, but all three lanes. The bridge to cross over was less than 300 meters from where he was attempting to cross, through fast moving heavy traffic. A person must be either mad or intoxicated to attempt that. Give he was carrying 2, 1 Liter bottles of very non water looking liquid I am going to go with the latter.

Bright Thomas
Bright Thomas
7 years ago

Tip for pedestrians is not to cross the road at the mouth of RAs. Often while exiting the RA I have to brake for crossing pedestrians making it dangerous for them & cars within the RA.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
7 years ago

I have lived in Qatar for 5 years and have yet to attempt to cross a road apart from a quiet single lane. Suicide otherwise.
As a driver, I would urge people particularly abaya wearing women to at least carry something light/reflective, it really is impossible to see you except where there is excellent street lighting.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  outdoorsboys

My only near miss here with a person was exactly that. On a dark road as I traveled along inside the speed limit I was suddenly faced with a woman in a black abaya sauntering across the road. The lady was rather large and seemed unwilling to cross at pace even though she must have heard the car or seen the lights. It was only when I got very close that i saw her white shoes. I remember when I was young at home the gov always ran road safety campaigns urging reflective armbands. They were even given out at school.

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
7 years ago

Whilst it is safer to cross at intersections or traffic lights, they can be far from where the pedestrians want to cross, lengthening the journeys, hardly easy in this weather. The new Salwa Road has provided a bigger barrier between opposite sides of the road and divided communities more than before. In an urban area, why was pedestrian safety not considered? Not everyone wants to go in the same direction as the road.

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
7 years ago

Was interested that some of the new traffic signal junctions on the Corniche and adjacent roads had pedestrian crossings that stopped at raised landscape beds or didn’t have dropped kerbs on all the locations. What happened to design standards? Pity those trying to cross with disabilities or children? Doesn’t encourage people to get out of their car and walk.

Rebecca Wyatt
Rebecca Wyatt
7 years ago

Not enough crosswalks, sidewalks, overpasses or safe places to walk in most of Doha because no one thought to build them. And if there are laws saying pedestrians have right-of-way in crosswalks, I would never, ever believe that a car will actually stop for me because there is no enforcement. This will never be a pedestrian friendly place unless massive changes occur.

Amber
Amber
7 years ago

How about people moving a little bit quicker when crossing a heavier traffic road. Too many times I have let people cross the road but then they decide to take half the day to cross.

People drive crazy but people always seem to not know how to cross a street properly either. Some people crosd the street like deers. They until you are close to them then they decide to dart across the road.

greg
greg
7 years ago

Run you fool…

superkev
superkev
7 years ago

why is it that when Qatar makes any announcement on perceived improvements to any sector, give it crime, safety, traffic, visa etc.. they completely forget the massive elephant in the room… If the police actually did some police work that didn’t involve just sitting behind a desk then the roads would be safer. I left work this morning from The Pearl, approached the main roundabout with the underpass and to my surprise found two police cars side by side on the round about (there’s 4 lanes) chatting. Then the idiot in the shield car pulled up alongside to join in. (thats 3 police cares straddling 3 lanes on a 4 lane roundabout, leaving one lane for traffic) absolute genius Qatar. i thought about snapping it on my camera, but hey, that would be breaking the law using your phone whilst driving. They were completely oblivious to me sounding the car horn for them to move… completely arrogant! So now we have the government asking people to walk safely because the motorist can be arsed to drive with due care and attention and the Qatari police think it’s too much work to do…..classic

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
7 years ago

A few street lights in the Industrial Area would not go a miss. A nightmare driving through there in the dark with so many people around on foot, with no proper footpaths.
Another ‘danger’ are women in the black abayas in dimly lit areas. Very difficult to see. Could a fashion student perhaps design a garment using a reflective thread or similar so that they remain traditional but can be seen?

MrJames
MrJames
7 years ago

I like how the lady on the sign is wearing light, bright reflective clothing.

oh. hang on..

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
7 years ago

Who is this article for… who is the target audience?

Bruce Browne
Bruce Browne
7 years ago

Does it come an a surprise that when a new sidewalk was built across the street from the ministry of urban planning it was so narrow that pedestrians cannot pass? And this on the way to a major shopping area, City Center? Clearly those in the ministry never walk, and can’t be bothered to look out their windows to enforce common sense construction standards along a major thoroughfare.

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