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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

VIDEO: Make way for emergency vehicles in Qatar, but don’t follow them

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In its latest animated public service announcement, the Ministry of Interior has warned commuters to stop taking advantage of ambulances as they try to make their way through Qatar’s congested roads.

Motorists should move their cars to clear a path for emergency vehicles, but leave it at that, the MOI states on Facebook, adding:

“Some are trying to be ‘over-smart’ by following the emergency vehicle to escape from traffic queues. It’s totally unacceptable behavior and it will further create traffic chaos while it violate rights of other road users.”

The advice has gotten more than 2,100 hundred shares since it was posted yesterday, with some commenters calling for violators to be fined.

Taking advantage of the clear path created by an ambulance appears to be against the law. Those who drive “behind emergency vehicles and not maintain at least 50m of space from that” are liable for a QR500 fine.

Challenges

With thousands of cars being added to Qatar’s overcrowded roads each month, emergency vehicles here increasingly struggle to get through traffic, especially during rush hour times.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s public works authority has been tackling this problem by installing technology in traffic signals around Doha that allows them to be changed from red to green by first responders as they approach the intersection.

Another challenge facing ambulances here – and hospital emergency departments – is that the vast majority of calls placed to 999 do not involve life-threatening situations.

Late last year, a senior Ministry of Interior official said that only 10 percent of the calls received on the emergency line merit immediate, urgent care.

This is in part because of calls from children, but also because many expats cannot afford to seek treatment at the country’s private clinics and hospitals, one long-time emergency room doctor in Qatar said.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect that chasing an ambulance is indeed against the law, and punishable with a fine.

22 COMMENTS

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SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago

Mount cameras on the back like parking sensors that could activate when the Ambulance in question is heading for an emergency / or over a certain speed…10,000 fine should do nicely Mr. MOI.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

It is quite amazing this had to be said at all, but the selfish idiots that occupy the roads in Doha define stupidty to a tee.
Only yesterday I had to shout at an Indian lady who thought it was fine to block the road for every other user due to her selfishness in not waiting. Not sure if I got through to her as she was on the phone the whole time.

Elkhorn
Elkhorn
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

While I do not generally object to your points / comments as I even upvote on some of them.

I do object on your specific mention of Nationalities in your post. It is true that Nationalities has their proclivities, based on their religion / culture. But we have to remember that “one’s action cannot be generally indicative of everyone else”.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Elkhorn

True, but I was not indicating all Indian women are selfish, just pointing out this one was.

Shaman
Shaman
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Your comments are increasingly smacking of racism & intolerance in what is a melting pot of nationalities. You do seem want everyone to live up to your utopian idea of order inherited from somewhere else on the planet. Wipe the mud from your eyes. Shouting? Indeed!

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I honestly cant put together how people think you are being racist…im most probably being more racist when I say an arab once tried to over take me after ive given way to an ambulance while at a red ligh so i couldnt get back into a straight position.

Locali
Locali
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Just like what Elkhorn said ! Don’t mention nationalities. Unless your talking about Qataris then it’s fine and accepted, in fact this whole blog encourages such things.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Locali

I’ve shouted at Qataris as well for poor driving or just being selfish in their driving habits. Most seem shocked someone would talk back to them. I doubt it makes any difference, yanni.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago
Reply to  Locali

I am not going to mention any nationalities, but it is always those impatient, crazy expat wives taking the kids back from school that chase ambulances and wreak havoc. As soon as they finish their G&T’s and the kids go to bed they go out to have some good old tailgating fun.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

lol. You’ll get that expat wife writing on her blog about you for making such statements….

Bo
Bo
6 years ago

It is rediculous that this has to be said.

However cameras on every junction with unbelievable fines and points certainly makes people nervous. This is only place i have been where if you are not in the bumper of the car in front when in a queue, then the car behind beeps telling you to “close the gap”, however if they are first at the lights then they proceed to leave 2+ car lengths from the line for the only reason i can assume which is the fear of causing the traffic camera to activate.

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
6 years ago

I would love to see the SEC get involved with this and road safety, Green Cross Code, whatever you want to call it be taught in all schools

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

“taking advantage” is a common practice in this part of the world. Respect is a foreign word.

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago

taking advantage is common throughout the world.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

There are people everywhere that try and take advantage of the weakest, the poorest, the least important. The difference is that some societies take special measures to protect the disadvantaged. Societal values change over time, and not always for the better. For example, the original Bedouin meaning of Kafala is temporary protection and hospitality to strangers. That was in the good old days when people didn’t have big houses and the latest model luxury cars, but had big hearts. Those comments apply to nationals and expats alike. Some of the worst abusers of expats here in Qatar are…. expats.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

Not really in respect to driving. Japan, South Korea for example have very polite drivers, same for most of Europe too.

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

they smile at you and say overtake please …..

Fed Up
Fed Up
6 years ago

Here is a novel idea, actually ALLOW the police to make a traffic stop for following an emergency vehicle without officer worrying that they will go to jail or lose their job for upsetting a local resident. Once stopped anyone disobeying the rules should incur a hefty fine to dissuade this behavior and judges/MOI employees should not be able to amend the fines as there is no good reason for following an ambulance or other emergency vehicle!

brorick
brorick
6 years ago
Reply to  Fed Up

its not only locals that do this, i have seen many poeple…unless it was a local that was wearing some labour outfit driving a nissan pick up truck

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed

Point 56.10 in the attached “fines” list … You can’t follow an emergency vehicle:”Not driving behind emergency
vehicles and not maintaining at least 50 meters of space from that.”

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago

I stand corrected! Thanks Osama, have updated the post.

Teddy
Teddy
6 years ago

Oh lord. Do people really need to be told? This is laugable.

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