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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Viral video of crash at the Pearl-Qatar raises safety concerns (updated)



Updated to include comments from the Pearl management

A video clip of a weekend crash at the Pearl-Qatar has been gaining traction on YouTube, garnering nearly 26,000 views in the two days since it’s been posted, and jump-starting discussions about road safety on the island.

In the video, a security guard is seen peering into a shattered window pane of the Pearl’s Al Fardan Sports Motors, a Ferrari/Maserati showroom. The driver of a silver sedan then reverses his vehicle out of the wreckage and quickly speeds away from the guard, toward the Pearl’s exit.

An official from the Pearl-Qatar’s management company UDC told Doha News that the incident happened last Friday, Feb. 7, around 10am.

Saeed Al-Sulaiti from UDC’s Health and Safety department said that after the driver drove away from the scene, he was stopped by the island’s security team, and handed over to the police.

UDC are not commenting on rumors that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

The incident comes as residents report quieter evenings over the past few months, after the Pearl’s new management moved to curb the antics of motorbike drivers who were revving their engines late into the night.

Safety concerns

This is not the first time a car crashing into a building in Qatar has gained public attention. In 2011, footage emerged of a Toyota Land Cruiser barreling through the storefront of an Al Zaman Currency Exchange branch in Al Khor. And a few years before that, an FJ Cruiser jumped a curb and smashed through one of La Cigale Hotel’s window panes.

As with those accidents, this latest crash on the Pearl has raised concerns about how safe residents are when some drivers behave so recklessly.

Speaking to Doha News, one resident spoke of seeing at least four accidents on the roads leading into Porto Arabia over the past few months. In an email, he wrote:

Every day I see cars speeding, racing or driving in the opposite direction on this road, yet no action has been taken. I have written to the Pearl’s community master repeatedly, requesting speed bumps to be installed yet nothing has been done, and not even a reply indicating any intended actions.

The solution is pretty simple: installing speed bumps at the intersections leading to tower entries, that will force the cars to slow down. This is serious and lives are at stake. I’m concerned for my safety and that of my family members driving on this road every day.

Concern about lack of enforcement has also been raised on Twitter:

Do you think more could be done to enforce road rules on the Pearl? Thoughts?

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