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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Study: Traffic accidents cost Qatar nearly $5 billion over six years

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car accident

A new study has concluded that Qatar racked up a bill of approximately at $4.8 billion (QR17.6 billion) over the past six years from the fallout of road traffic accidents.

Annually, that comes out to 2.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), a number that is rising, according to the Qatar Road Safety Studies Center (QRSSC) at Qatar University.

Researchers there looked at the overall cost of accidents on the country’s roads, including the bill for emergency and ongoing care for the injured, the value of damaged property and any resulting insurance and legal costs.

The full research document is not yet available to the public, but a summary released by the university puts the overall bill in the six years between 2007-2012 at $4.8 billion (QR17.6 billion).

The annual amount is increasing each year, from QR2.5 billion in 2007 to QR3.2 billion in 2012, reflecting the escalation in traffic incidents over the period.

Figures released by Qatar’s traffic department in 2012 showed that the number of accidents resulting in injury jumped nearly 12 percent that year, with nearly 1.2 million traffic violations being issued.

The new 2013 figures were expected to be released months ago, but have yet to be disclosed to the public.

Human cost

The QRSSC research also outlines the human cost of Qatar’s traffic safety problem, detailing 1,289 road accident-related deaths between 2007 and 2012 –  523 of which were drivers, 377 passengers, and 389 pedestrians.

The vast majority (92 percent) of these victims were male, and most deaths occurred in busy areas prone to traffic jams and well-known accident black spots, the research found.

The study’s authors say that they hope their report will help engineers redesign these accident-prone areas to improve safety, by making adjustments to existing road layouts and lowering speed limits.

As part of this effort, QRSSC is also working on a computer simulation of the D ring expressway  – a well known traffic black spot – by modeling its entrances and exits and its total capacity, QU said.

Population surge

Qatar’s traffic woes are due in part to the expansion of the country’s population – with the headcount reaching 2.14 million by the end of March 2014. Recent predictions state that this figure could swell to 2.4 million by the end of the year.

To try to cope with the ensuing pressure on Qatar’s roads, the government is in the midst of a huge road building program to increase the capacity of the road network.

The National Committee for Traffic Safety is also due to issue a report on traffic congestion in a few months, which may include further restrictions on the issuing of driving licenses to expats, a measure recommended by the Advisory Council recently.

Thoughts?

15 COMMENTS

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Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago

While there will always be accidents a large percentage are I believe due to distracted drivers. I am so annoyed at the complete recklessness of people using their mobile phones. An example was only yesterday the driver in front of me was weaving across 2 lanes while texting. An accident just waiting to happen. Where is the enforcement.

AEC
AEC
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

I saw a guy last year with his hands through the steering wheel typing on the keyboard of a laptop while happily driving along with two kids standing on the passenger seat sticking their heads out the sunroof. He wasn’t of course limiting himself to one lane.

Jasmine
Jasmine
7 years ago

The results don’t surprise me.. unless and until Qatar does not prioritise in implementing their traffic laws and penalising drivers for breaching the law..there bound to be road accidents in Qatar…Qatar must learn something from Abu Dhabi. the traffic law there is strict and implemented well.drivers dont dare to break the law there as they know they will be heavily penalised or their license will be taken away by the Police if they breach the law.

KaKaw!
KaKaw!
7 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Traffic laws are sufficient here, it’s just enforcement. Everything is automated here because of what I assume to be a lack of police officers to enforce traffic. You’ll see CCTVs and speed cameras everywhere, but no Traffic Dept. patrol cars (the Lekhwiyas are just there to ease congestion, not enforcement).

R_Chow
R_Chow
7 years ago
Reply to  KaKaw!

There is no direct enforcement as I understand most of the traffic polices are from other nationalities and have no authority to stop a local from misbehaving. So they ignore the bad behaviors of the expats also. I heard a story of one police officer losing his job because he stopped an ‘high official’ at the roundabout along with others while traffic was moving from the other side and he did not buzz at the formidable question ‘do you know who I am’.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
7 years ago

Stop it with the ‘Qatar’s traffic woes are due in part to the expansion of the country’s population.’ That is a load
of garbage!
The level of accidents are from a poor culture of rule enforcement and a lack of respect for road safety.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
7 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

……its a fact, not garbage. Why could it not be part of the problem? 8000 new cars a month have to go somewhere as do the 8000 new drivers that drive them. It’s a contributory factor, but not the primary one, which is the quality of driving, I do agree.

KaKaw!
KaKaw!
7 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

The main problem is the lack of rule enforcement, that’s the root cause of all of Doha’s traffic problems (though I do really want to blame the lack of thought that went into planning the new intersections everywhere). The smart signal lights at intersections and roundabouts don’t do a thing because people still jump red lights, and the speed cameras don’t do anything either since everyone speeds everywhere else.

Everyone’s minds go into survival mode while driving because it’s basically a jungle out there with minimal presence from authority.

HalfManArmy
HalfManArmy
7 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

Care to cite your sources?

Of course not…

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

Ultimately the drivers are responsible in the majority of cases and the drivers need to be policed better.The other side of the coin is the system that requires everything to need a police report to be repaired.That adds paperwork.It also makes it harder for someone to get work done on their own if they ran into the side of the wall in their compound driveway.Then there is the need to replace everything with new parts because they sell scrapped cars to other Countries and there is no auto salvage.Hence costs increase for repairs.All the new drivers coming in and cars monthly, add to it all. Eventually they will make improvements as the numbers of deaths and the costs involved cannot be ignored.

Marilyn McLeroy
Marilyn McLeroy
7 years ago
Reply to  Diego

There is nothing to getting a police report for repairs. You simply need to go to the proper place, Wholesale Market(there might be other places) and wait in the queue, tell them you have parking lot damage or hit and run. They will ask if you want to claim on your insurance or pay yourself. Easy peasy form handed over.

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

Easy except for time and traffic,then trip to industrial area,two weekends worth,unless you have driver.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago

I recently had experience with this myself. Not as easy as you think. Firstly they are only open from 7 to 12 on weekdays for these sort of accidents. So, I had to go during my working hours. After lodging the report request, they said they have to give a notice against my car and wait 1 week to see if anyone reports against me. So that made it 2 trips during working hours for me.But the staff at the traffic police station were surprisingly helpful.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago

I have said before and I say again, I would like, love even, to see Doha News interview the head of police and ask straight up why they refuse to enforce the traffic laws. Is this possible Doha News Team? Pls answer.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Yes that is one side of the coin, but spare a thought for the poor car salesman. Without so many crashes he would not sell so many new cars and then him and his family would struggle. One man’s loss is another man’s gain.

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