The number of traffic violations issued to Qatar residents hit a new high in June, though the number of accidents on the roads fell to almost a new low, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MPDS).
Some 165,572 traffic citations were issued in June, the highest since MDPS began releasing these numbers in March.
The vast majority of offenses – some 96,575 – were clocked by radar. The 11 percent uptick in that category comes as the Ministry of Interior’s traffic department makes headway on plans to install new radar equipment around the country.
Prior to March, governmental monthly reports did not include the total number of violations committed each month.
Though June’s figures were high, Qatar’s population has taken a considerable dip since then, with figures dropping below 2 million people at the end of July.
The annual drop in residents means that traffic violations and accidents will likely also see a decrease in numbers for July and August.
Improved road surveillance
In a bid to reduce the number of accidents on Qatar’s road, a number of initiatives have come into force over the past couple of months.
In June, Qatar’s Traffic Department started sending more police officers onto the roads in unmarked vehicles to catch and write up rogue drivers.
Detecting vehicles that illegally pass from the right in roundabouts, intersections and lanes was the chief focus, and officials threatened to impound the cars of repeat offenders.
A month later, traffic department officials said that some 100 vehicles had been seized daily for illegally overtaking others on the road – or roughly 3,000 vehicles in a month.
Additionally, some 120 radars are being installed across the country this year. Placed every 2 to 4km on key roads, the cameras will not only catch those driving over the speed limit, but also those illegally using the slow lane to overtake vehicles.
Passing on the right is a common practice, but can be dangerous, as motorists who try to skip the queue must cut in front of other cars in junctions and roundabouts at the last minute.
While the number of citations were at an all-time high in June, the number of accidents was among the lowest Qatar has seen in the past six months.
An overall drop in the severity of accidents could also be seen in June, with a total of 350 minor accidents, 36 major accidents and 10 deaths.
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Have you noticed any changes while driving on the roads lately? Thoughts?