A total of 19 people were killed on Qatar’s roads last month, down significantly from the 29 killed in April, but the number of overall traffic accidents continue to climb, according to newly released government statistics.
May’s fatality rate is still somewhat higher than the number of people killed on the roads earlier this year, which stood at 13 each in February and March.
The numbers come as authorities begin introducing a Ramadan road safety campaign to bring down the volume of traffic incidents in the coming month.
Fasting in Ramadan officially began today, and there is often a peak in traffic accidents during this time, particularly in the evenings when people are rushing to pray and to break their fast.
According to the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics, which released the figures in its Qatar Monthly Statistics report for May this week, there were some 28,152 accidents last month – compared to 26,477 accidents in April.
Some 57 of the May accidents were recorded as major and 578 as minor.
The number of people caught by radar for speeding is also on the rise, with 87,123 recorded violations for May – up 13.3 percent from April’s figure of 76,884.
There was also a jump in the number of people caught “breaking traffic signals,” or jumping red lights. The May figures stand at 2,196 – an increase of 8.7 percent from April’s tally of 2,020.
However, fewer people were ticketed for not following traffic signs. Some 10,852 people were recorded for that offense in May, which is down by one third from April’s 17,095 such incidents.
Overall, the total number of traffic violations for May – 158,300 was slightly down on April’s tally of 160,995.
Other figures include:
- A 63 percent increase in the non-renewal of driving licences – 572 recorded cases for May, compared to 351 for April;
- A decrease in the number of unspecified “traffic offenses” – 36,507 for May, versus 39,585 for April; and
- A reduction in the number of “other offenses” (again, not defined in the report) – 20,482 for May versus 24,439 for April.
Many of these increases can in part be attributed to Qatar’s burgeoning population, which rose by nearly 1 percent in May to 2.174 million.
There were also more cars on the road, as 8,144 new driving licenses were issued for May, with 96 percent of them going to non-Qataris.
Ramadan Road safety
These latest figures are announced as the Ministry of Interior and Qatargas launch their annual Ramadan Road Safety campaign, under the slogan “Precious Moments…don’t waste them through reckless behavior. Drive safely.”
The campaign aims to cut the number of accidents and casualties and to boost public awareness.
Traffic Department Director Brig. Mohamed Sadd al-Kharji is quoted in the Gulf Times saying that traffic police will be deployed in key areas during Ramadan in a bid to ease congestion.
A Qatargas road safety advert will run on Al Rayyan TV throughout Ramandan, and in cinemas during Eid, highlighting the tragic effect of road accidents on family and friends.
The full MDPS report for May can be found on the MDPS website, or viewed below: