Some 205 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, a 10 percent drop from the year before, Qatar’s Traffic Department has said.
But road fatalities still accounted for one out of five deaths in the country, and traffic violations were doled out at an astonishing rate of 97 per hour, for a daily average of 2,330. That’s almost double the rate of violations that drivers racked up in 2010.
The vast majority (70 percent) of those citations were for speeding, the department reported.
The Peninsula reports:
Although there is a decline in the total number of deaths, pedestrian casualties in Qatar still remain higher compared to the global ratio. The annual average of pedestrian deaths in Qatar is 31 percent which is 82.4 percent higher compared to the global average of 17 percent…
The major factors that led to the accidents were use of mobile phones while driving, jumping traffic lights, failure to fasten seat belts, speeding and reckless driving (shall we add reading and rogue shopping carts to the list?).
“Earlier people were only making phone calls while driving. Now many are sending text messages. This is even more dangerous,” said (Traffic Department Brigadier Mohammed Saad) Al Kharji.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s roads are indeed getting more crowded. Some 814,373 new vehicles were registered in the country last year – a 7.5 percent jump from the 771,325 vehicles registered in 2010.
Anyone else ready for some easy public transportation?