Qatar national road safety strategy soon
LANI ROSE R DIZON
DOHA QATAR will soon announce a 10-year Road Safety Strategy to enhance road safety and reduce traffic accidents, a senior Public Works Authority (Ashghal) official has said.
“The nationwide project will incorporate an action plan for the next five years and improve the safety of all our road networks. It will include educational awareness campaigns to spread traffic safety awareness among the public and children in schools”, Ashghal’s Roads Operations & Maintenance, Asset Affairs Manager Yousef Abdulrahman al Emadi said on the sidelines of the ITS and Road Safety Forum Qatar 2012. He also made the keynote presentation at the event.
Highlighting Qatar’s road safety challenges in his presentation, Emadi said that around 220 people die and 550 others are injured in Qatar each year in road accidents.
Among the fatalities from road traffic accidents, about 34 percent are drivers, 24 percent passengers, and 30 percent pedestrians. He said that traffic accidents in the country are most common among people aged between 20 and 40 years.
He also said that as part of the road safety strategy, work zone safety manuals will be issued soon to ensure road safety at worksites.
“The guidelines will be part of Qatar’s specifications to be implemented for all future construction projects.
We’re giving contractors a period of time to update their equipments and improve themselves.
The manual will be implemented on-site within six to nine months at the maximum,” he said.
Expert in the Office of the Minister of State of Interior Affairs and General Secretary of the National Committee for Traffic Safety Brig Eng Mohd A al Malki said that an emergency action plan to implement the strategy will be launched within six months.
“Hopefully, the strategy will be launched in the next two or three months. But we also have an emergency action plan which is now in place. We have a team which will review the traffic laws, violations, and car safety in Qatar. It will also investigate reports as well as identify the traffic black spots, errors in road marking, signage, and street engineering in the country”, he said. He also delivered a keynote address during the event.
The road safety strategy will be implemented under the umbrella of the National Traffic Safety Committee headed by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
Some of the major stakeholders in the programme include Ashghal, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning, Supreme Council of Health, Supreme Council of Education, Supreme Council of Family Affairs, Qatar University, Qatar Media Foundation, and the General Secretariat for Development Planning, he added.
Speaking about the rising number of vehicles in Qatar, he said that there were 650,686 vehicles registered in Qatar in 2010 as compared to the 287,513 vehicles registered in 2000.