37 C
Doha
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Qatar police threaten to impound vehicles that pass on the right

-

traffic

Motorists who try to illegally pass cars in roundabouts and intersections from the right lane or park in spots reserved for those with disabilities could have their cars impounded, Qatar’s Traffic Department has warned.

Announcing a crackdown on some of the most dangerous and irresponsible driving practices on Qatar’s roads, the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department said it is increasing the number of patrols on the streets to spot and take action against drivers who flout the law.

Repeat offenders risk having their car impounded for at least a month in addition to facing the usual QR500 fine for certain traffic violations.

As the number of cars on Qatar’s roads continues to rise – with some 9,000 new vehicles being registered monthly – traffic becomes an increasing headache for those trying to get around.

Impatient motorists can often be seen driving up the hard shoulder or even pavement to overtake traffic queues, and last-minute cutting in is a common complaint on Qatar’s roads.

The actions can be dangerous, as drivers in the queues are focused on the road ahead and often don’t spot the car intercepting their lane until it is too late.

Launching the new awareness campaign, Traffic Department Asst. Director Brig. Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani said the frequently-occurring breaches of the traffic law were “preventing others’ rights” on the roads and that “strict action” was being taken against those motorists.

Al-Thani warned that existing traffic cameras and radars were already recording those who are breaking the rules.

Unmarked patrols

Just last week, the Traffic Department said it was sending out patrols of unmarked cars to spot and write-up motorists who break the law.

Capt. Hamad Ali al Misnad was quoted as saying that uniformed officers would be undertaking the spot-checks in a bid to catch those who only obeyed the traffic rules when they spotted a police car.

The patrols of eight teams were initially focused on particular problem areas such as Al Waab, C-Ring Road and 22 February Street/Expressway, but are to expand to other hot-spots.

Traffic

Qatar’s roundabouts can be difficult to navigate, especially at busy times. Newcomers may not realize that priority goes drivers on the inside lane who are leaving the roundabout, as opposed to those in the right-hand lane.

To cope with congestion and avoid confusion, Qatar’s Public Works Authority Ashghal has been converting several roundabouts into signalized intersections.

Eight junctions in and around the Corniche were changed last year, and Al Markhiya and Dahl Al Hamman roundabouts are currently under construction, with more are set to follow.

Last December, checkpoints were set up around Qatar as part of a three-month long campaign to tackle issues such as not fastening seat belts, driving while talking on the phone and driving without a license.

Traffic violations

As the number of cars on the roads increases, so have the number of accidents and traffic violations.

According to the latest government statistics available, there were 436 accidents in April, resulting in 526 minor injuries, 58 major ones and 29 deaths. That’s more than double the number of fatalities recorded in March.

Also in April, 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 on the nearly 94,000 citations issued the previous month.

While the news of the latest crackdown was welcomed on Facebook and Twitter, some residents are asking for even stricter penalties, pointing out that many people in Qatar have more than one car:

There was also calls for enforcement of the law on drivers using mobile phones while at the wheel, and bullying road behavior, such as those who drive up to the rear of a car, flashing their headlights to get the car in front to move out of the way.

MOI addressed flashing headlights and honking horn etiquette in a Facebook post last week, advice that residents said they hope more motorists will take to heart.

Thoughts?

58 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
58 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
DB
DB
7 years ago

I’m still skeptical if they’ll actually confiscate, say, Land Cruisers, or if they’ll grab a few hapless expats to support the claim that they’re “doing something.”

Huw Nicholas
Huw Nicholas
7 years ago
Reply to  DB

I’ve notice selective implementation parking fines in West Bay over the last couple of weeks. Some cars get booked, other appear not to after a quick chat on the radio. Why? I can only sepculate……

MK
MK
7 years ago

I was once in a famous ministry building parking and had noticed that one top official (Seemed so by the car) parked right in the first lot meant for disabled people and walked away. He was greeted by the security guy as well. Felt really bad. Is it not taking up one poor guy with a disability to walk longer distance?

LoveItOrLeaveIt2
LoveItOrLeaveIt2
7 years ago
Reply to  MK

He seemed to be a top official by his car?

MK
MK
7 years ago

I guess the message is put across. What’s the point in picking the small point there??

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  MK

Human hierarchy man…hierarchy… This is how pious people practice religion here ….

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”

Same way — It doesn’t say anything about disabled person meaning everyone is equal….

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
7 years ago

This measure is very welcome in Qatar. Something needs to be done to curb this very dangerous activity – and the threat of impoundment is a good start. Every time I enter a roundabout in Doha I feel like I am taking my life in my hands and it is only a matter of time that someone will collide into the right side of my car, which is where my kids often sit. Worse still is that they beep their horn at me like I am the one in the wrong. If you want to turn left, be in the left lane only. I would also suggest that the same rule be applied to those cars going forward – only use the middle and right lanes – those turning right stay in the right lane – seems simple right?

The Avenger
The Avenger
7 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

Correct , it’s not difficult but it becomes difficult when the Qatari police don’t even understand the the fundamental rules of a roundabout . When you have trucks that can’t enter a left hand lane you have a major problem, People automatically think that you should give way in the left , you don’t give way if your turning left at a intersection or roundabout because you need to be in the left hand lane.
The most basic rules of the road are not followed here and rules not enforced . Qatar has the most deaths per capita in the world , now that’s a record you don’t here very often bounded about the press !

Doha Hack
Doha Hack
7 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

Perhaps a refresher course for the Police would work? There seem to be enough of them around, so it should be fairly easy to administer. I don’t know about the death rates, but frankly it wouldn’t surprise me.

The Avenger
The Avenger
7 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

29 deaths in May 2014 with 139,000 RTA violations and 2000 of them for jumping red lights , the source of the info is from the MOI

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

It would be nice to see the police leading by example as they do need to be whiter than white. Many seem to forget that if people see the cops breaking rules, they feel that it’s ok for them to do so too.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

Absolutely. I take a back road behind Aspire to go onto Al Farousia. It’s a single lane road which gets very busy on the opposite side. I constantly have to deal with cars driving all the way up this road on my side of the road in order to queue jump. I am always shocked when I look at the drivers who do this and find its a policeman in civvy car.
Then there are the police cars who tailgate and harass the driver in front and then you have the policemen in civvy cars again using mobile phones careening around the roundabout with no indicators.
Policemen are caretakers of the law. They should not feel they can break the law with impunity. They should be required to be perfect examples of law abiding citizens.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Desert Witch

Drive the same road everyday and it is mayhem, mostly caused by police in their private cars, pathetic.

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

Red LCs are internal security not police. Though they often screw up the traffic at RA’s like Traffic Police. Traffic Police drive white LCs with (mustard)yellow and blue stripe(s) on bonnet/hood and sides. They do the most traffic violations IMHO!

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

The difference here as well is that the inside lane can go straight ahead. That is insane and causes problems when the numpty in the middle lane decides to go the whole way around the roundabout. I do chuckle when I see the effort of not looking and just driving around in the middle lane. Its like “if I don’t look or make eye contact they can’t see me!.

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

What do you mean by “The inside lane”? Do you mean the outermost lane (RH) on a roundabout or the innermost one (LH)?

I’m always amazed by the people on the left lane on a multi-lane RA wanting to go out at the first exit, be in the RH lane then ya numpty!

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

Inside lane as defined in the UK.The innermost lane.

Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

That makes this: “Newcomers may not realize that priority goes drivers on the inside lane who are leaving the roundabout, as opposed to those in the right-hand lane.” a bit of an eye-opener. Basically, don’t worry about lane selection, you have the right to exit at any time…

Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago
Reply to  Doha Hack

Exactly its basic but still people cannot understand or more likely cannot be bothered to think ahead and position themselves on the road correctly.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago

There is a program on tv in the UK called Traffic Cops. It follows various constabularies across the UK in trying to eliminate driving offenses, speeding, driving with no insurance, using the phone while driving, all sorts of stuff. They are real police who would have an absolute field day over here… I love living in Qatar, but the driving is starting to ware me down. I am sometimes too scared to take my little girl out in the car. I have baby on board sign and mummy’s little angel on board, please back off, but they do no good. People are either completely oblivious when it comes to road rules or just down right selfish and disrespectful. It’s a mix of the two that causes death.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

Here here. We dont go out as much as we would do if the roads were safer. It is a risk v reward evaluation for us, and most time risk wins. Cook at home, or drive to a nice meal and risk serious injury of us and children because some moron thinks he is more important than the rest of the world…cook at home we say…

Paul
Paul
7 years ago

And this needs announcement because..??? Tomorrow we will announce that it is not legal to drive on two wheels or over 180 in between camera’s 🙂

Geomatre
Geomatre
7 years ago

What is it we hjave been asked to do…? Oh yes, ”Reflect Your Respect””. Clearly us ex-pats getting our dress code sorted in the Malls is more important than addressing things like….oh, I don’t know…:
– Kefala System
– Human rights for low paid workers
– Justice for victims of crime, and the enforcement of punishment for those apparently convicted
– Courtesy shown to other road users
– Greater empathy/less arrogance shown to the 92% of us(apparently) who have driven this fabulous economy for our Landlords ? Just a thought….

SparkyfaeDalry
SparkyfaeDalry
7 years ago

I admit that sometimes I do undertake in the right lane but that is because the clown in the middle lane is quite happy driving at 50km/h in that lane on a 100km/h road, oblivious to all that’s around him, therefore I would be forced to change 4 lanes to overtake him, to move back to the slow lane, its the drivers that hog the middle lane that should be penalized as well.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
7 years ago
Reply to  SparkyfaeDalry

I think we all “Admit” to having to do that Sparky……..its actually really bad sometimes when some lemon is driving at 80 in the fast lane (Yes I know it’s an overtaking lane for the pedantic ones) and you are three lanes over on the other side feeling guilty on the Al Shamal Road for instance. However, I think the cut across at the roundabout is by far the most reckless one as you have very little time to react, both to a side impact and a potential rear impact. The cutting in is endemic all over the city and I certainly out of principle, never let one in, no matter how much stress it causes. Same with tailgating, I never move. At least they are focused on me and not on a poor driver with kids in the car. How I wish one of those Red Police vehicles would park themselves in the emergency lanes once in a while!

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

How I wish we could put land mines on the hard shoulder.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

But what about the poor people who break down? :((((
I hope I never break down on the expressway in the hard shoulder, for fear of being mowed down…

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

I was hit from the rear near Doha University last year at around 9pm at night. As it was on a slip road, I took my emergency triangle from the car and set it up approx 10m away from my car to the oncoming traffic, additionally with my emergency lights on, so cars coming from the distance would have enough time to go around. You guessed it, It took about 10 minutes before the first idiot drove OVER the orange triangle then swerved to avoid my car……… that was the first and last time I have seen one used on the street…..and I assume most cars have them. Watch out for the motorway crossers as well. People who run across and think that a car travelling at 100+ is not going to catch them head on. OH, and one last rant to all those fog light users on the corniche when there is no fog. It’s me with my full beam on behind you until you turn them off.

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
7 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

Makes you want to pull your hair out doesn’t it????

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

If only I had any to pull out.!!!!!………………………….but I will not become a silent acceptor for sure. I firmly believe that if my actions stop even one idiot from doing the same to someone less able to handle it, then a life might be saved. Even if the person behind the wheel of the auto missile is oblivious to it.

Huzz
Huzz
7 years ago
Reply to  Waveydavey

You are correct. I have thought about this and they will be remotely operated by independent parties using the traffic cameras. That or we can use drones.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
7 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

But be careful. It’s not for you to ‘mind’ others speed limits. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it myself. But if someone else wants to break the speed limit then it’s the police only who have the powers to deal with it. Unless you are a policeman?

Not criticising. Just saying.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago

Can I ask a few potentially dumb questions: How do traffic cameras detect that someone is passing on the right? I’ve seen this mentioned in other instances, but how does it work? Are the cameras on these road really that high tech? And if I’m within the speed limit, why is passing on the right a problem (because that would obviously indicate that someone is going well below the speed limit in a left lane)? Also, can anyone else make heads or tails of the actual annoucement on the MOI website? Not sure if it’s just a bad translation or if it really reads that vaguely and poorly in Arabic as well.

Huw Nicholas
Huw Nicholas
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

I think passing on the right and use of camera’s relates to those who drive down the hard shoulder / emeregency lane (that some even think is for parking on airport road and for dropping kids off to school on the D Ring…..) and can take a picture if you pass in that lane.
This requires dedicated cameras as those at junctions just catch red light jumpers.

Chilidog
Chilidog
7 years ago
Reply to  Huw Nicholas

Ok, that’s what I was thinking, that it would take the installation of dedicated cameras to look only at those lanes (seems like a waste of money to me). But then what if I have a flat tire or my car fails and I have to take it to the side to get it out of the way of traffic? Will I then have a fine on top of a repair bill? Cameras are not the solution. Without direct enforcement with immediate feedback regardless of nationality nothing meaningful will change. Again, until the government tells us by how it deploys the traffic officers that punishing violators is more important than getting VIPs around on clear streets, the death rates will stay high.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

The point of these shoulders are exactly what you mentioned- flat tires, break downs, etc…

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Well said….Direct feedback is very important, and it stops the dangerous behaviour at the time, mitigating the then and there risk of a collision and ‘shames’ people into rethinking their behaviour. If only the police would actually activate those lights pull someone over and do something!!!! They may see a decline in road trauma! 101 traffic cop stuff…all too hard .

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

“Newcomers may not realize that priority goes drivers on the inside lane who are leaving the roundabout, as opposed to those in the right-hand lane.”

I don’t think newcomers are the main culprits for bad driving . . .

Huw Nicholas
Huw Nicholas
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

Plus that is not how to use a roundbout anyway, that is accommodating bad driving!!!!

Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago

Can the MOI please issue detailed figures for each offence they punish each month so we can see that they mean and are acting on what they say. I would be most interested to see how many drivers were caught and fined for mobile phone use last month.

Shabina921
Shabina921
7 years ago
Reply to  Big Biker

The government began released more detailed traffic violations a few months ago. Here are the latest figures – mobile phone usage may fall under “other” on p. 13.

http://www.qsa.gov.qa/eng/publication/QatarMontlyStatistics/QATAR-MONTHLY-STATISTICS-MAY-2014-Edition-4.pdf

Big Biker
Big Biker
7 years ago
Reply to  Shabina921

Many thanks, interesting site.

Paul
Paul
7 years ago

and this in news because….?? Tomorrow we will read that it is against the law to drive on two wheels or drive 180 in between camera’s.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Hahahaha..

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

outsource the job to a third party.. a company that is profit driven and profits from traffic tickets… they instal and oeprate all cameras.. all they do is snap pics for proof and fine… problems will be eliminated in six month…

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

yeah, ’cause the existing cameras are working so well!…

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

that’s my point genius.. out sourcing it and allowing it to be a profit driven business will ensure all
camera function properly at all times…

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

given the 51% ownership law, its hardly going to be outsourced?????

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago

This is great news, but change the penalty from 500qr to 2,000qr. That will solve your problem.

Aussiegirl
Aussiegirl
7 years ago

Several months ago I saw that while doing roadworks to the centre strip of D ring road just near the Al Rayan flyover that a large mound of earth had been placed in the left hand break down/emergency lane. As it was just around the curve of the road a 4×4 who was illegally using the lane as their own personal roadway and had to take sudden evasive action when confronted with 2 traffic cones and a massive pile of dirt. Fortunately they were able to do so without causing an accident. On driving past the next morning there was a scattering of pieces of white vehicle around the now misshapen mound so I guess some other person using the hard shoulder wasn’t so lucky. As someone else has said here I would hate to actually be broken down on the side of one of these roads as being hit at high speed could be fatal to all involved.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Aussiegirl

Funny, I dont feel much sympathy.

CeePeeEm
CeePeeEm
7 years ago

I wish the Traffic Police also start to fine those drivers who harass those in front who are already going at the top permissible speed limits. These unruly drivers from behind literally bully the drivers in front, forcing them to get out of the lane, by continuous flashing of lights. These actions can cause a panic situation for some drivers, who somehow wants to get out of that lane. This is a very common sight on the Shamal Road and these drivers don’t spare anyone in the fast lane, thereby making a mockery of the speed limits set for the roads.

M333
M333
7 years ago

…or they could just enforce the existing traffic regulations across the board like every other civilised country does. Remember RTAs are the single largest cause of death in Qatar. Good road manners and a little courtesy, of course, would also help!

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  M333

Too true.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Who is going to police this…the current traffic police? Bhaaahaaahaaa good one. Enact all the laws you like but without enforcement and education to compliment , coupled with the lack of empowerment and training the police, then throw in some of the levels of personal power different citizens and residents enjoy, and it just wont be effective. Oh yes I know it says more patrols will be out, blah blah blah…yes it says, but wont do…anyone remember the hard hitting highway patrol that was going to be introduced by Jan this year…never happened…

Bob
Bob
7 years ago

That would really just lead to lots of Qataris having their cars impounded. And then? They own 2 cars minimum… Either way, these are again just empty threats. How often have we not heard something like this… And then nothing.

Myrddin
Myrddin
7 years ago

Please stop using mobile phones, when driving.

I don’t mind posting this link again, and again, ad infinitum…!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHixeIr_6BM

Jazzmed
7 years ago

There should be a new system to control the “rash 4×4 tail gaters” who scare people & sometimes end up in a tragic accident. Suggestion is if some one is troubled the picture of the tail gater (violater) can be taken & be given to the traffic police for imposing fine to the violater.

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.