With most schools reopening after summer holidays on Sunday and government offices resuming after the Eid al-Adha break, a traffic safety official has urged Qatar residents to start early and adopt defensive driving.
Heavy traffic is expected in key areas across Qatar with more than 300,000 students expected to attend classes in the new academic year. While many travel to schools in buses, the rest are transported in private cars and limousines, which add to the traffic rush.
"Start early, look for alternate routes wherever traffic diversion has been put in place, and plan ahead to face the unexpected," suggested the official at the Traffic Department of the Ministry of Interior.
According to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, about 100,319 students will start their new academic year at the Independent Schools in the country and another 172,247 will resume their studies in private schools as well as in kindergartens.
The ministry also stated that its officials have been holding orientation sessions for new instructors and conducting facility inspections for a safe and efficient bus service. A ministry official had said that 2,036 highly equipped buses of different sizes are ready to provide transportation for students.
However, with several road constructions and diversions, certain areas in and around Doha are likely to face heavy traffic and residents are advised to prepare accordingly.
“Defensive driving is a set of driving skills that allows you to defend yourself against possible collisions caused by bad drivers, distracted drivers, road conditions and poor weather. If you look ahead and keep your eyes moving, you will spot potential hazards more easily,” explained the officer.
“Drive safe and wear your seat belt always even on short trips because your safety depends on it. Do not forget to have all occupants in the vehicle wear their seat belt including restraining children at the back of the vehicles via child seat,” he stressed.
The official also cautioned against speeding. "Even if you want to speed, most of the time the roads might be full of vehicles and you have to follow them. The only way to avoid being late is to start early. Never lose your patience or temper while you are at the wheels, as it will not solve any problem but will result in further complications.”
The MoI official has also suggested that people refrain from aggressive driving habits. “Aggressive drivers are known road hazards, causing one-third of all traffic crashes. But inattentive or distracted driving is becoming more of a problem as people multi-task by talking on the phone, texting or checking messages, eating, or even watching TV, YouTube or other channels, as they drive,” he warned.
It is important to ensure that the vehicles are in good condition so that any abrupt delay in the rides due to a breakdown, especially in the peak hours, can be avoided.
Related Story