It was good to know that there has been a fall in the number of accidents on Qatar roads (“Road crashes and fatalities fall in Qatar this year”, Gulf Times, August 21). The entire credit for this should go to campaigns run by the Ministry of Interior to increase road safety in the state. The ministry has undertaken a number of initiatives, including installation of hi-tech radars and cameras, to curb dangerous driving practices in Qatar. They seem to be paying off.
According to the report, the first half of this year has already seen a 22.7% drop in the road accident death rate and a 6.3% decrease in the number of accidents compared to the same period last year.
The total number of accidents fell to 127,907 in the first six months of 2016 from 136,574 in the same period last year.
It is also good news that most of the accidents recorded until June this year were minor ones that did not involve injuries.
The death rate in road traffic accidents in Qatar amounted to 6.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, 47.5% lower than the international rate of 12 cases per 100,000 people. It also marked a 28.4% fall from the figure registered in the same period last year.
But drivers using mobile phones while behind the wheel is still a common sight on Qatar’s roads and stricter action should be taken to discourage the practice. People do it now because they think they can get away with it. But we should know by using mobile devices while driving, we are putting our and other people’s lives in danger.
The right choice
Indian bankers, industrialists and well-wishers of the country’s economy have heaved a sigh of relief when they have learnt about the appointment of Urjit Patel as the new governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Undoubtedly he is the right choice as he has been recognised as an eminent economist and an excellent banker. This key appointment has been made on the recommendation of the Financial Sector Regulatory Appointment Search Committee (FSRASC), headed by the cabinet secretary.
Raghuram Rajan, the outgoing RBI governor, has left an indelible impression among all concerned and he will be remembered for his yeoman services to the Indian banking industry.
Patel who filled the role of a deputy governor of RBI has to his credit the immense contribution he has made to the central bank’s monetary policy department as its head in the last three years.
Seen as a close lieutenant of Rajan, Patel headed a committee that introduced landmark changes, including a switch to inflation-targeting and adopting consumer prices as the new benchmark instead of wholesale prices. These drastic and innovative changes helped drive the Indian economy to scale new heights since the country opened up its economy.