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Monday, April 19, 2021

Official: Qatar to introduce minimum speed limit requirements soon

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s traffic department has been updating the software on cameras at intersections to better catch violators, a senior official has said.

Speaking to the Qatar Tribune, Mohamed Saad Al Kharji, director general of the Traffic Department, said the cameras are being tweaked to detect vehicles that tailgate as well as drivers who turn left from straight-heading lanes.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Al Kharji added that the country also plans to roll out minimum speed limits “in the near future.”

“If you are driving on a highway at 20km/hr, you would be obstructing traffic flow and a traffic patrol can fine you for that,” he said.

Currently, according to the Ministry of Interior’s list of traffic violations, a motorist can receive a QR300 ticket for driving at “abnormal low speed that may obstruct traffic movement without a good reason.”

But many have questioned the definition of “abnormal low speed,” and posting set minimum limits could help clear up some of the confusion surrounding the issue.

Violations

Slow drivers aside, the vast majority of traffic violations on Qatar’s roads continue to be recorded by cameras, and are for speeding.

Residents often complain that police officers here do not do enough to enforce basic traffic rules. Instead, Qatar appears to favor using technology to keep bad drivers in check.

"Smart" traffic camera surveillance
“Smart” traffic camera surveillance

In April, for example, officials announced project “Talaa,” a new surveillance program that enables officers to remotely ticket motorists who talk on their phones while driving, don’t buckle up and illegally overtake other vehicles.

Notably, however, the number of traffic violations issued in June – the latest data available – fell sharply compared to the same time last year.

According to the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, more than 125,000 traffic violations were doled out in June 2015, down nearly 24 percent from last June.

At that time, there were 165,000 citations, the second-highest in the 16 months since the government began releasing traffic violation data.

Traffic violation comparison
Traffic violation comparison

MDPS figures show that fewer motorists were ticketed in nearly every category of violation, including speeding, running red lights and not following traffic signs.

It is unclear why violations fell so sharply, as the number of traffic accidents and deaths both increased in June 2015 compared to the previous year.

According to the MDPS, there were nearly 44,000 vehicle accidents in June, up sharply from the nearly 29,000 accidents Qatar saw in June 2014.

Meanwhile, there were 22 road deaths, up from the 16 recorded during the same month last year.

Thoughts?

17 COMMENTS

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Ali
Ali
5 years ago

HO finally. But if they are unable to enforce the maximum speed how will they be able to enforce the minimum speed??!!

Rapha31
Rapha31
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

Correct! How will the electronics of the radar/camera detect “abnormal low speed that may obstruct traffic movement without a good reason”? Like for example there’s was an accident and all have to slow down?

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

Great news! The number of idiots driving at 60 and 70km/h on
the right and middle lane on D Ring Road is staggering. They are more dangerous
than those driving at 120km/h. If you want to drive at 60km/h get out of the
express way and take the side roads. There you can have a nap while driving if
you want and nobody will bother you.

Ali
Ali
5 years ago

Finally! Someone will be fining those who drive >60kmph on the highway along with those who go over speed .. wait nvm.

Bajn
Bajn
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

< 60kmph

O
O
5 years ago

Hope they are serious on this….not just a statement….

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Qatar has nearly all the laws and regulations in place for traffic policing, construction standards, safety standards, ethical business practises, treatment of workers and so on, but if they are never or rarely enforced then people ignore them. It is the same in the Phillippines, a new president comes in and promises to pass a law to protect the people from so and so, yes he passes the law but then everyone just ignores it.

Laws are useless if the population does not follow them and the only way to get near 100% compliance and change in culture is by enforcement when such laws are violated. God doesn’t care if people die on the roads, (if he did he would do something to protect innocent children) but we should. I can’t make these changes or recommendations because I am not a citizen, but Qataris should be pushing for safer roads, better construction standards, better safety standards, not saying inshalla when another person dies.

Amber
Amber
5 years ago

So glad they are going to do something about those fools who turn left from straight heading lanes. I can’t tell you how many times I had near accidents because some joker didn’t get in the turning lane so they decide to turn out of the straight lane.

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  Amber

I experienced that recently too but not only was he in the straight lanes turning left. He was in the most right lane of the straight lane. These people need strict jail time as their disregard of human life puts them into the “attempted murder” category in my opinion.

Catalea
Catalea
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

oh my god ! see that right there, is what i don’t understand !! how can they think for a mili second that doing this is SAFE !!!! -_-
I honestly do not let them go, if they hit my car, it’s their fault and at least they will pay the fine they have to 🙂

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

A similar thing happened to me 6 months ago in one of Al Markehya street roundabouts. When the light turned green the guy on my left (I was in the middle lane going straight) veered towards me and wanted to cut me off to take the turn to the right. When I horned at him and he saw he cannot do it without making an accident and that he has to miss the turn he got angry and started insulting me.

bleh!!
bleh!!
5 years ago
Reply to  Amber

i have seen a joker in a lexus lc take a u turn from the middle track of the lane going straight to the old airport by cutting across the three lanes which were turning left towards toyota signal.

another one i have seen were two lcs going at a leasurly pace in the fast and middle track of the highway. the driver/passengers were chatting and laughing with each other oblivious to the traffic jam behind them

Amber
Amber
5 years ago
Reply to  bleh!!

Oh yes I’ve seen fools trying to make u turns from the straight lane as well. People think the road is only for themselves.

Catalea
Catalea
5 years ago

what about the ones that TEXT (aka, don’t have their eyes on the road) while driving, and start drifting to the left/right ! this has happened to me sooo many times, that the car on my left/right would start drifting because that person was texting – I’m talking about this here because most of the ones I’ve seen driving super slow were the ones texting , because whatever message couldn’t wait till they reached their destination -_-

Scarletti
Scarletti
5 years ago

sort of the excess of speed, not failure to speed- failing to do the speed limit never killed anyone !

guest
guest
5 years ago

Dubai imposes fine of Dhs 400 plus 4 black points to tailgaters. Qatar should impose similar fines here too. Tailgating is common out here…

Mitch Lawrence
Mitch Lawrence
5 years ago

How great it is to see them addressing the real problems on the road. First, despite noting that safety improved and that there were fewer accidents, they’re raising the expressway speed back to 100. Now, tackling slow drivers. Great to see them tackling the huge problems, while ensuring that the traffic police can stay comfy in their cars at all times.

Yes, slow drivers can be – and are – a problem. But this is nothing compared to other behavior goes on out there every day. We can see the cameras at some intersections catching turns from the wrong lanes – a good start. If it can catch tailgaters, good.

But electronic enforcement is not enough. So a camera catches a tailgater. Driver gets a fine in the end, but it did nothing to stop the tailgater. Is a camera going to catch a Land Cruiser slaloming across lanes at 200 kph between speed cameras? Will it stop the behavior right away?

Please get the police to be in random places and – here’s the radical part – to be ready to actually get out of the car to enforce traffic laws. They must put their mobiles down and do their jobs. Drivers need to know that they police may be anywhere and that they can get pulled over.

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