Road accidents ‘in decline due to campaigns’

March 14, 2014 - 4:23:51 am

DOHA: Major injuries due to road accidents fell by an impressive  45 percent in 2013, compared to the previous year, a senior official of the Traffic Department has said.

Despite the huge increase in the number of cars and drivers in Qatar every year, fatalities due to accidents continue to decline and are well below the international average, according to Brigadier Mohammed Saad Al Kharji, Director of the department.

“Deaths due to road accidents in Qatar was 9.3 per 100,000 people last year, which was less than the global average of 13,” Qatar News Agency quoted him  as saying.

Major injuries caused by accidents fell by 45 percent last year, he added. 

The department is expected to shortly release full data about road accidents in 2013. 

Al Kharji was speaking at a ceremony at the Traffic Department headquarters to honour visiting delegations from other GCC countries taking part in the 30th GCC Traffic Week.

“Latest data indicates that we are on right track and the situation is improving. 

“For us, 2006 was the worst year, with the highest number of road accidents, fatalities and major injuries. 

“Over the past few years, the numbers declined and we hope it would continue to drop until the number of deaths reaches less than five a year,” Al Kharji added.

He said the decline was due to strict implementation of the traffic law, and continuous awareness campaigns being carried out by the department. 

According to data released last year, more than 88,000 new vehicles hit the roads and 108,000 driver’s licences were issued in 2012.

Despite a surge in the number of new vehicles in the year, the death toll due to accidents was restricted to 204. 

According to 2013 figures, the number of accidents dropped by 9.5 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. 

And the number of pedestrians who died in mishaps dropped to 56 during the year from 61 in 2011 and a high of 74 in 2010.

“Any death or injury is a tragedy and we will continue our efforts to protect the lives of our people, especially the youngsters,” he said.

“We call upon authorities, individuals and organisations for more cooperation with the Traffic Department to raise awareness on this issue. 

“The community’s role in traffic safety is extremely important,” added Al Kharji.

The Peninsula

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