With reporting from Riham Sheble
Dozens of residents have blasted as “shameful” an incident at the Pearl-Qatar earlier this week that involved a shoving match and SUVS ramming each other into a roundabout, according to footage that has gone viral online.
The dust-up happened shortly after 1pm on Monday at the roundabout between Towers 29 and 30, according to a Porto Arabia resident who filmed the scene.
It’s not clear what sparked the incident, in which approximately a dozen people, including at least three men who can be seen pushing each other, exited their vehicles and caused a large traffic jam.
In the midst of the melee, the driver of a white SUV can be seen accelerating and hitting a white Land Cruiser from behind three times.
The driver appeared “to be in a total rage,” said the resident who filmed the incident and asked not to be named.
The driver of the rear SUV then reverses for a final time, accelerates, rams the other vehicle again and pushes it into the roundabout, where it appears to roll forward until it hits another Land Cruiser that’s stopped at a closed exit of the roundabout.
Several moments later, with the SUV’s door still ajar, the motorist quickly accelerates and drives in the direction of several parking garages, building entrances and shopping areas.
A spokesperson for the Pearl-Qatar told Doha News on Monday that security officials there had no record of the incident.
At least two videos of the incident were shot and circulated, including one that was posted on the Arabic-language online forum Qatar Shares.
By last night, some 88 people had commented on the video. Most condemned the individuals involved:
“If they had actually worked hard for the money (to buy) the cars they are driving, they would have behaved respectfully,” wrote one person.
“Such an idiotic and heedless behavior should be severely punished. This is so shameful. What would guests who visit our country say about us? It’s becoming a scary thing …
This tarnishes the image of our country at a moment when outsiders are keen to find anything against us. These kinds of people have to be punished by law so that they would be made an example of and for others to be deterred from acting similarly.”
Others said a heavier police or security presence is required and suggested that improved traffic management would help motorists control their tempers:
“Although this is no excuse, but I do not want to jump to blaming the youth. The roads are crowded everywhere … People become edgy and restless. No one likes bad traffic and we all want the situation to be better.”
The Pearl has taken some measures to ease traffic problems on the island.
Last year, several speed cameras were installed in an attempt to improve safety on the Pearl’s roads.
There are also occasional police patrols. The Porto Arabia resident who shot the video told Doha News he has observed motorists driving much differently in the area when a Pearl security officer is stationed at the roundabout.
But, echoing long-standing complaints of other Pearl residents, he said motorists loudly revving their engines and drifting their sports cars is still a near-nightly occurrence.
“There’s no respect.”