In an effort to crack down on motorists who violate road rules, Qatar’s Traffic Department has begun sending out teams of police officers in private vehicles to write up offenders, the Qatar Tribune reports.
The newspaper cites Capt. Hamad Ali al Misnad as saying officers would still be dressed in uniform while taking action against those who violate the law.
The patrols were launched to deter bad drivers who only respect road rules when they see police cars around, al Misnad added.
So far, their are eight teams working shifts in unmarked cars, mostly in the following areas:
- Al Wabb;
- C-Ring Road; and
- February 22 Road.
The initiative is expected to be expanded beyond Doha soon. According to al Misnad:
“The number of traffic violations reported by these new patrol teams is large, mainly about irregularities of overtaking from the right and driving on the sidewalk.”
The number of road accidents and traffic citations in Qatar have been going up steadily as some 9,000 vehicles are added to the roads each month.
According to the latest government statistics available, Qatar saw 436 accidents in April, resulting in 355 minor injuries, 48 major ones and
24 29 deaths. That’s more than double the number of fatalities recorded in March.
Also in April, some 160,955 traffic violations were recorded, mainly for speeding, but also for not following road traffic signs and not renewing car registration or driver’s licenses.
That’s up significantly from the nearly 94,000 citations issued the previous month.
Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the ministry has two death figures listed in its report, and Doha News is going with the higher tally cited.