Ashghal seeks reduced road speed limits
May 29 2013 01:55 AM
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Experts taking part at the Qatar Transport Conference.
Experts taking part at the Qatar Transport Conference.

 

The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has recommended a downward revision of the present speed limits set for several roads in Qatar and the installation of  radars and cameras at key locations  to bring down the number of accidents.

Qatar has one of the highest rates of road  accidents in the world and the authorities have initiated various steps, including stiff penalties, to improve safety on the country’s roads.

“Speed limit is an issue in Qatar. The main reason of fatalities in road accidents in Qatar is related to speed,” Yousef Abdulrahman al-Emadi, manager of Roads Operations & Maintenance Department, Assets Management Affairs, Ashghal, said during a presentation at the Qatar Transport Conference, which opened in Doha yesterday.

Speaking on the topic of “Road safety in Qatar: improving safety for all road users”, al-Emadi said Ashghal had recommended reduction in the current speed limits in their meetings with  Ministry of Interior and other government officials.

“We are also recommending new locations for the installation of speed cameras,” he said. 

He spoke at length about the Qatar National Road Safety Strategy (2013-2022) that was released in January 2013, which aims to save 800 lives and prevent 2,000 serious injuries over the next 10 years.

The Traffic Department, in association with Maersk, launched an awareness campaign titled One Second on Sunday, highlighting the importance of  observing  rules and safe driving.

Speaking at the conference, Emil Rademeyer, GM MEED Cost Indices, examined investment and project proposals in Qatar’s estimated $17bn transportation infrastructure sector. Waleed al-Saadi, senior project manager, Lusail Real Estate Development Company, presented the upcoming milestones in the development of  transportation infrastructure in Lusail City.

Thomas Topolski, senior vice president, Louis Berger, said one of the key recruitment challenges they faced in getting the best talent for Qatar’s massive infrastructure projects was not salaries, but questions about  the quality of schools available in the country and housing options.

Geoff Leffek, regional rail director, Hyder Consulting Middle East, said that when they wanted to hire talent from the international market, the candidates expressed their fears about potential inflation. “These people have seen what happened in Dubai, especially between 2005 and 2008, and raise concerns whether inflation would unexpectedly hit the roof in the next 18 months,” he said.

Asif Shafi, vice president, Parsons, said the key challenge for Qatar in executing its transportation projects would be how to co-ordinate the major tasks at the same time. Clarifying the point, he pointed to the need for co-ordination between highway and rail projects in a way so that one did not affect the other.

He also called for a market-driven strategy to estimate the actual demand for metro projects in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena).

The Middle East region, especially Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the next few years, are going to witness a large number of massive rail projects, including light rail, trams and high speed metros.

The two-day conference has been organised by Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) Events.

 

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