The Traffic Department is looking to further strengthen measures to curb the use of mobile phones while driving, an official has said.
Noting that the use of mobile devices results in many accidents involving both motorists and pedestrians, Captain Abdul Wahid Gharib al-Anzi, Traffic Awareness Officer at the department, said: "Some motorists fail to take proper steps before changing lanes and also jump signals as they are busy using their mobile phones while driving. Also, pedestrians become victims as they, too, sometimes use mobile phones while crossing a street or walking along a road.”
Captain al-Anzi made the observations while speaking at a recent community awareness and Iftar event in Doha.
Traffic personnel conduct patrols to detect and record violations, he told Gulf Times, stressing that the authorities have decided to further intensify awareness campaigns and initiate other steps in co-ordination with the departments concerned. The Traffic Department official added that road traffic accident cases have come down due to proper intervention and awareness campaigns.
Currently, the Traffic Awareness department holds awareness classes for employees and labourers at functions organised by different companies.
“The department is active in terms of holding special campaigns against the use of mobile phones while driving. We also deliver lectures and conduct exhibitions. We also make use of the social media to spread awareness,” he said. Besides, officials visit spring camps and Qatari 'majlises' where they hold interactions with the public.
According to data available with the Ministry of Interior, Qatar records some 800 road accidents a day on an average. It has also been found that some 51% of the total accidents are due to mobile usage. Captain al-Anzi said the victims are pedestrians in 32% of accident death cases.
A task force is working towards implementing Qatar's National Traffic Safety Strategy. As part of the implementation, efforts are being taken to spread a culture of traffic safety among school students through field visits by specialists.
In addition, lectures and workshops are organised while awareness messages are provided to parents through text messages and direct meetings. The authorities are also looking to reduce road traffic accident mortality rate through continued intervention.
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