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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The traffic violations system needs major reform, says the Gulf Times

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This article in the Gulf Times today criticises the Traffic Department’s “points” system, saying that it’s easily manipulated and is not achieving its aim to punish bad drivers, and ultimately of course to make Qatar’s roads a safer place. 

Quoting an unnamed expert, the paper says the system is widely abused.

“Unfortunately, the point system is flawed, as the points are given to the vehicle and not to a specific driver,” the expert explained.

“When points accumulate on a vehicle, they can be blamed on a personal driver, an employee who has already left the country or anyone willing to take the points on their licence regardless of whether they were driving or not. ” 

Gulf Times has learnt that it is common for people who do not drive a car but still have a licence to admit to accumulating other people’s points in exchange for money. 

The article notes that it would be better to notify each driver after they have committed an offence rather than leave it until registration renewal, but points out that until every resident has a PO Box address, writing to them would be unworkable. SMS messaging is suggested as an alternative solution. (At present residents can sign up for SMS alerts for traffic violations, but it’s an opt-in service.)

The state of Doha’s roads has become a hot topic of late; this article in The Telegraph prompted us to write this story, which in turn became the scene of much online debate. 

What do you think of Qatar’s points system? Would you like to see it changed?

Credit: Photo by Doha Sam

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