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Qatar records sharp decline in road deaths
February 11 2019 12:13 AM
Brigadier Ibrahim Saad al-Sulaiti and Major General Mohamed Saad al-Kharji at the press conference.
Brigadier Ibrahim Saad al-Sulaiti and Major General Mohamed Saad al-Kharji at the press conference. PICTURES: Noushad Thekkayil.

Doha

The number of deaths in traffic accidents in Qatar fell to 4.9 per 100,000 people in 2018 from 5.4 in 2017, enabling the country to further improve its global record in terms of a low accident fatality rate.

The 2018 data for Qatar, which was announced by the General Directorate of Traffic at a press conference on Sunday, was well below the global average of 17.4 deaths per 100,000 people.

Overall, the statistics for last year’s showed “remarkable progress” with regard to a reduction in the number of traffic accidents, deaths and injuries as compared to 2017. The drop across all these parameters came despite an increase in the population, new vehicles on the roads and issuance of fresh driving licences.

Director-General of Traffic Major General Mohamed Saad al-Kharji, the National Traffic Safety Committee secretary Brigadier Mohamed Abdullah al-Maliki and Ministry of Interior's (MoI) Statistical Analysis Office head Brigadier Ibrahim Saad al-Sulaiti attended the press conference.

Brigadier al-Sulaiti summed up the statistics for 2018 across different indicators as compared to the previous year.

The indicators revealed a 7% decrease in accidents in comparison to 2017, 3.1% drop in deaths and 17% fall in the severity of accidents. The decrease in traffic mortalities was by 5.1% while number of serious injuries fell by 17% and pedestrian mortality by 17.9%, the MoI said in a statement.

The official noted that the number of deaths in traffic accidents in 2018 declined to 168, translating to 4.9 deaths per 100,000 people, while in 2017 a total of 177 deaths occurred at a rate of 5.4 per 100,000 people. In 2008, 12 deaths per 100,000 people were recorded, which means a steady decline in the mortality rate between 2008 and 2018 – recorded at 59.2%. He emphasised the role played by the increase in the number of roads and the extent of its impact in the improvement in traffic performance.

Brigadier al-Sulaiti also observed that the number of vehicles increased by 4.3% in 2018 and driving licences by 6% in comparison to 2017. Despite this growth, the number of accidents with serious injuries declined by 5.8% in 2018 while fatal accidents dropped by 3.1%. Also, the number of serious injuries in accidents decreased by 17% while the number of deaths fell by 5.1%, the data revealed.

Further, the statistics also showed that 97.2% of traffic accidents were without injuries, while minor accidents declined by 8.5%.

Qatar's average of 4.9 road accident deaths per 100,000 people was described a remarkable achievement as it was way below the global average of 17.4 deaths. Similarly, the road accident death rate is 9.2 per 100,000 people in high-income countries, 9.3 in European countries and 24.1 in low-income countries.

The Industrial Area witnessed the highest number of traffic fatalities during 2018 with 14 cases, followed by Fereej Soudan with 13 cases, Leabaib with 11, and Al Wakrah and Sealine with eight cases each.

Major General al-Kharji stressed that the Traffic Department exerted great efforts in collaboration with all parties concerned to improve the traffic situation in the country. He noted that the positive results were achieved mainly due to the improvement in the road network and the launch of modern roads with fewer diversions, the presence of more traffic patrols, the deployment of radar and surveillance cameras equipped with state-of-the-art technology and greater awareness among motorists.

He appreciated the efforts of all parties working with the General Directorate of Traffic, hoping to achieve a further decline in the number of traffic deaths and injuries in the coming years. He also pointed to the growing awareness among young people, who are keen to apply traffic rules, and also thanked the media, whose efforts have helped convey awareness messages to the public.

Major General al-Kharji added that what makes the decline in traffic accident indicators an important achievement is the challenges involved, such as the significant increase in the population over the past 10 years, from nearly 1.5mn in 2008 to more than 2.5mn over the past year, the higher number of vehicles and driving licences and other related indicators, QNA added.

Brigadier al-Sulaiti said the success was the result of joint efforts by the General Directorate of Traffic, National Traffic Safety Committee, Ambulance Service, Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and the Ministry of Municipality and the Environment.



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