The Ministry of Interior's General Directorate of Traffic Director General and the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) vice-chairman Major General Mohamed Saad al-Kharji has called for more efforts on the part of the country's residents to reduce road traffic accidents (RTAs).
While addressing the inaugural session of the International Traffic Safety Conference Monday, the top official recalled that although some good results were achieved during the first phase of the National Traffic Safety Strategy (2013-17), still there is greater necessity of reducing the mortality rate in the RTAs by at least 10 per year compared to the figures of 2017.
Major General al-Kharji said the target for 2022 is 130 and the pedestrian mortality should be reduced significantly from the present 32% to 17% and serious injuries to 400 in four years from now when the country hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The number of road traffic deaths in Qatar in 2017 were 159.
"Actions need to be accelerated to achieve the UN's sustainable development goals endorsed by Qatar by reducing traffic congestion annually by 5%," he said.
It could be achieved by proper urban planning, development of effective road and transport networks and improving traffic safety and addressing causes of traffic accidents in the five traffic areas and municipal areas identified by officials concerned.
Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, the NTSC Secretary General Brigadier Mohamed Abdullah al-Malki said over the last five years Qatar has achieved significant achievements in road safety owing to the development of advanced road networks that meet highest safety standards. He said such developments would contribute to the creation of an environment conducive to an integrated transport system.
Irrespective of a 5% increase in number of vehicles in 2017 compared to 2016, accidents with injuries declined by 1.3%, as 6,140 cases were recorded in 2016 and only 6,061 last year. Serious injuries declined by 14.8%, from 872 in 2016 to 743 in 2017, and fatalities by 0.6%, thanks to the combined efforts of various state agencies.
In 2017, the number of accidents declined by 2.4%, while 97.5% of 240,333 traffic accidents reported in 2017 were without injuries. Around 89.6 of the injuries in last year's accidents were minor, with only 2% of the injured on the road dying last year.