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Sunday, December 5, 2021

‘Nightmare noise’: Lusail residents complain of illegal car, motorcycle racing

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Loud cars and motorcycles have proved to be a nuisance to residents of Lusail, where the area has now been described as ‘unliveable’. 

Residents of Lusail have mobilised in a bid to urge authorities to take action against illegal motor racing at night, a resident told Doha News, noting the city has become a “nightmare” for families.

Like thousands of others living in Lusail, the disgruntled resident, voicing concerns of his neighbours, says the community has been struggling to sleep at night because of “loud motorbikes and sports cars racing and revving their engines 24/7 in residential areas.”

Many residents “have been trying all possible ways to get the local authorities to solve the issue” to no avail, he said.

Last year, a total of 799 residents signed a petition addressed to the Ministry of Interior to try direct their attention to the issue. In response, authorities took swift action by banning motorbikes from residential areas between the hours of 9pm and 7am.

“Back then traffic police were more active on trying to solve this issue, they arranged few campaigns within the city to catch the bikers and proceed with the necessary actions against them.”

Signs prohibit bikes overnight [Supplied to Doha News]
However, this didn’t last long. Less than a year later, bikers are now back on the streets during the prohibited hours, some of whom are continuing to engage in dangerous stunts while speeding around Marina and the nearby Lusail Expressway.

One resident said they saw two bikers racing along the highway while standing on top of their motorcycles just days ago.

“The bikers issue started escalating again since around March 2021 but it has been at its worst since August/September 2021 as the weather started to get cooler. All our efforts went as dust in the wind,” the resident told Doha News.

Read also: Qatar’s Losail Circuit gets to work with modifications ahead of first F1 Grand Prix race

Residents who spoke to Doha News say more needs to be done to enforce the rules set out by the ministry last year.

“Every time we call the police, they just never give it enough attention and bikers just keep racing up and down the main street of the Marina where all residential buildings are located.”

In most cases, racers modify their vehicles by installing exhausts that trigger explosive sounds. While this causes a fright for families with children at night, it is is also considered a serious violation according to the Traffic Department in Qatar.

Some riders even remove their license plates to avoid being caught by police or cameras – a serious crime under Qatar’s traffic laws, the resident noted.

“Thousands of hard-working people, children, and elders cannot enjoy their homes because of those irresponsible individuals, and the authorities are not doing enough to solve this issue even with the huge amounts of calls and visits they receive from residents.”

Doha News has reached out to authorities but has yet to receive a response.

Qatar’s traffic laws 

According to the updated traffic laws, participating in car or motorcycle races without permission from the licensing authority can land violators in jail for a minimum imprisonment of one month and maximum of three.

Violator could also be fined a minimum of QAR 10,000 and a maximum of QAR 50,000, while receiving three black points to their license

Other traffic violations and fines include:

QAR 6,000

  • Driving a vehicle in the opposite (wrong) direction. (6 Points)
  • If the motorist does not abide by the manual signals activated by the traffic police. (7 points)

QAR 3,000

  • Driving a non-registered vehicle. (2 points)
  • Driving a vehicle without number plates. (3 points)
  • If the drivers of transport vehicles (buses of all types) and trucks, goods vehicles, trailers or semi-trailers, do not keep to the right side of the road or overtake other vehicles. (1 point)
  • Driving a vehicle that makes noisy sounds or dense fumes causing bad smoke, or leaks flammable materials or harms the public health or environment or damages the road or driving a vehicle without an appropriate silencer. (3 points)

QR 1,500

  • Driving a vehicle on the road without renewal of its license. (points-NIL)
  • Making unauthorized changes of color or shape of the number plates, or altering the details on it, or loaning it or exchanging it. (3 points)
  • If a motorcyclist or bicyclist does not hold on the handlebar with both hands unless when required to indicate, signals manually, or if he holds onto another vehicle while driving, or if a two-wheeler drives on one wheel or tries to tow, carry, push, or drag objects that can obstruct traffic or endanger themselves or others on the road. (Points-NIL)

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