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Friday, December 3, 2021

Qatar cracks down on motorcyclists for ‘dangerous’ stunts in Lusail 

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Lusail city has lately become a circuit for illegal motor racing, leading to increasing calls for action. 

A motorcyclist has been arrested for “dangerous behaviour” and risking the safety of road users in Lusail city after a shocking video emerged online, Qatar’s General Directorate of Traffic confirmed on Tuesday.

The video, which was widely circulated this week, showed the moment in which the man was seen carrying out a stunt on his motorcycle on what appeared to be Lusail Expressway. 

 

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The viral video led to a barrage of outrage from the public in Qatar with many calling on authorities to take urgent action against the increasingly occurring scene.

Hours later, the General Directorate of Traffic announced immediate legal measures had been taken against the biker.  

Last week, Doha News reported on growing anger from Lusail’s residents over similar scenes and stunts that have become a year-long nuisance in the newly-built city.

One resident said the city has become a “nightmare” for families and noted 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, a resident said.

Last year, a total of 799 residents signed a petition addressed to the Ministry of Interior to try to 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.”

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.

“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 added.

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

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 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 previously reached out to authorities but has yet to receive a response.


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