Qatar is likely to make it mandatory soon that back seat passengers should also wear seat belts, a top official disclosed on Monday.
“The Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior reviews the existing articles regularly. Seat belt for passengers sitting at the back is a priority for us,” explained Brig Mohamed Abdullah al-Malki, secretary-general National Traffic Safety Committee.
He was speaking at a press conference at the inauguration of the National Child Passenger Safety Programme.
“I think that these changes will be made to the existing article when it is reviewed and I hope that the new law will be announced sometime soon,” Brig al-Malki said.
The official pointed out that the practice of not wearing seat belts is a major cause of deaths and accidents globally, especially in the 18 to 25 age group.
"It is also the leading cause of injuries. The United Nations has pointed it out as a major issue that needs to addressed immediately,” he explained. 
According to Brig al-Malki, Qatar has made significant progress in road safety. “The number of deaths in traffic accidents in 2018 declined to 168 in Qatar, making it 4.9 per every 100,000 persons, while in 2017 a total of 177 deaths occurred at a rate of 5.4 per 100,000 persons.”
The official also told that Qatar is catching up with many of the leading countries in road safety. “Several European countries have a stable condition and their safety records are excellent. Most of these countries have stable population as well as infrastructure. The situation in Qatar is different. We have an increasing population year on year. We also have big increase in the number of vehicles as well as in infrastructure development,” he explained. 
“Last year alone, Qatar added more than 400km of asphalt road. In the last couple of years, we have added more than 500km of new asphalt roads to the existing road network,” added the official.

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