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DOHA: More than 88,000 new vehicles hit the road in Qatar last year while the number of new driver’s licences issued in the year totalled 108,000, traffic department officials said yesterday.
The number of new vehicles registered in 2011 was 70,000 while about 105,000 driver’s licences were issued in 2011.
Despite the surge in the number of new vehicles in 2012, death toll in traffic accidents was restricted to 204.
Traffic accidents dropped 9.5 percent in 2012 from the previous year, Brigadier Muhammed Saad Al Kharji (pictured), Director of Traffic Department, said during his customary annual news briefing here yesterday.
The number of pedestrians who died in road mishaps also dropped last year to 56 from 61 in 2011 and a high of 74 in 2010.
The majority of the victims of road accidents were men (90.1 percent), more than half of whom were non-Arab expatriates, while 21.6 percent were Qataris and 19.6 percent were Arab expatriates.
Al Kharji said that overspeeding and reckless driving, particularly by young men, was the major cause of accidents.
“All necessary measures will be taken to deal with the issue. More radars will soon be installed on highways and the distance between two radars will be reduced to 2 km from 4 km,” Brig Al Kharji said.
To monitor motorists overtaking from the right side, radars have already been fixed on some roads in Doha.
The director said that overtaking from the right side to cut the traffic, in addition to being a clear violation of the traffic law, is also very dangerous. “There is also a moral side to this. A driver should have high morals and he should not encroach upon the right of others on the road,” Brig Al Kharji said.
The department is also coordinating with the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to build tunnels and flyovers for pedestrian crossings. Some 27.4 percent of the victims of road accidents in 2012 were pedestrians.
“The Traffic Department will install radars to catch motorists crossing pedestrian signals”, the director said.
He called on motorists to respect pedestrian crossings (zebra lines) and stop the vehicle if people are crossing.
Moreover, the Ministry’s strategy for 2011 to 2016 is aimed at reducing the number of serious traffic accidents from 300 to 250 per 100,000 people in the year 2016, Col. Ibrahim Saad Al Sulaiti, head of the Traffic Statistics Department, said.
He also added that the strategy of the Ministry aims at reducing the number of pedestrian deaths annually to less than 17 percent of traffic deaths, according to global standards, and reducing the percentage of traffic deaths from country’s total mortality by 10 per cent in 2016. The Peninsula