Traffic safety experts tackle road safety and sustainable transportation systems
December 13 2016 08:48 PM
QU president Dr Hassan al-Derham and Brig Mohamed Saad al-Kharji at the event. PICTURES: Shemeer Ras
QU president Dr Hassan al-Derham and Brig Mohamed Saad al-Kharji at the event. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed.

International and local traffic safety experts and government officials have gathered in Doha for a two-day forum to tackle key issues on road safety and sustainable transportation systems with a view to significantly reduce fatalities from road accidents.

The Traffic Safety and Sustainable Transport Systems event saw officials and representatives from Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), National Traffic Safety Committee, Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center (QTTSC) at Qatar University College of Engineering (QU-CENG), Public Works Authority (Ashghal), and Mowasalat sharing information in policies, strategies, and technologies to promote and support the National Traffic Safety Strategy 2013-2022.

“Transportation systems are among the main components that contribute to a society’s stability and to socioeconomic development,” said QU president Dr Hassan al-Derham in his speech.

However, he pointed out that the increasing need for various transportation systems is at the core of various challenges in traffic and road safety: environmental impacts, energy use, high processing and maintenance costs, as well as the need to do advanced and comprehensive techniques to merge different systems.

According to Dr al-Derham, the hosting of the forum is timely as it comes at a time when Qatar is witnessing huge construction projects.

“QU, through QTTSC, is committed to organising events like this forum with the aim of providing efficient tools and solutions that contribute to the country’s ongoing efforts to offer a sustainable and safe transportation system, which ensures the safety and welfare of the people of Qatar,” he noted.

Experts discussed a wide range of topics on traffic safety, the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs), implementation of Qatar’s National Road Safety Strategy, as well as best practices in a number of countries such as Singapore, among others.

Brig Mohamed Saad al-Kharji, director general of Traffic at MoI, said the Qatar government has been exerting efforts to make Qatar roads safer, adhering to UN resolutions and the SDGs. These include enhancing transport-city planning and road networks, alleviating traffic congestion by 5% annually, developing sustainable (smart) cities, and lessening the number of deaths and injuries globally from road accidents by half by 2020.

Qatar’s National Road Safety Strategy targets include reducing the number of road fatalities annually from 227 in 2015 to 130 in 2022, reducing the annual rate of fatalities from 14 to 6 per 100,000 people, and reducing the annual rate of seriously injured people from 33 to 15 per 100,000.

“The number of traffic deaths in Qatar has been reduced through constant efforts of the authority, in collaboration with relevant agencies, to implement the strategies and objectives with in the stipulated period,” Brig al-Kharji noted.

He added that nearly 56 out of 89 traffic-related plans have been implemented while the remaining plans are expected to be completed until 2017.

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