Qatar motorists involved in accidents may no longer need to go to the Traffic Department to collect paperwork for their insurers, following an announcement from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) about a new, paperless electronic reporting system.
In a statement, MOI said it had signed an agreement with the heads of car insurers in Qatar, so that reports of all accidents involving damage to cars would be sent directly from police to the insurance companies.
The ministry did not specify when these system would be in place.
But once the process is implemented, officers on the scene of an accident would be required to electronically log all the details, including an incident reference number, the registration numbers of the cars involved and details of the damage incurred.
This report would be sent directly to the insurers used by the relevant driver, while a text message with the incident number and details of the insurer would be forwarded to the motorists involved.
They would then be able to go directly to the insurance company to arrange repairs, according to the MOI.
The agreement was signed this week by Director of Traffic Controlling and Investigation Brig. Abdul Aziz bin Jassim Al Thani, along with heads of they auto insurance companies in Qatar.
The new paperless procedures are designed to cut the amount of time residents have to spend going to the police station, while also speeding up the process of creating the necessary documents, according to Capt. Abdullah Misad Qasim, head of traffic at Al Maamoura station.
However, the new system likely doesn’t refer to minor accidents, where police are usually not called out to the scene. In those cases, drivers often go to the Traffic Department to report the incident themselves.
The MOI also does not mention what would happen if a driver was not insured.
News of this electronic system is the latest move the Traffic Department is taking to improve efficiency and speed up processing of reports, as the number of accidents on Qatar’s roads continues to rise.
In October last year, the MOI announced that traffic police would be issued with tablets, which they would use to directly log reports and photographs at the site of an accident.
With the handheld devices, officers could send those involved a copy of the report while also enabling police called to the scene to immediately check the history of the drivers, including whether they have any violations recorded against them.
The new technology was unveiled by the MOI’s General Directorate of Information System following the Milipol military expo earlier in the month, which saw Qatar confirm QR309 million of deals.
The results of a recent report from the Qatar Road Safety Studies Center (QRSSC) at Qatar University found that the number of traffic accidents here are increasing at a faster rate than the population is growing.
In the 18 years between 1996 and 2013, the total number of all types of road accidents rose by an annual average of 14 percent and showed an overall increase of nearly 560 percent, from 44,077 to 290,829 accidents.
This is faster than the rate of population, which has risen by approximately 340 percent over the same period.