(MENAFN - The Peninsula) DOHA: A six-month emergency action plan will be carried out ahead of the launch of Qatar's National Traffic Safety Strategy aimed at reducing traffic accidents and raising road safety across the country, said an Interior Affairs official.
"We hope the strategy will be launched before January, but there are some crucial issues that need immediate attention, so we are implementing an emergency action plan for the next six months," said Brigadier Mohammed Abdullah Al Maliki, Secretary General of National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), a group tasked to implement the traffic strategy.
Among the crucial matters Brig Al Maliki mentioned included identification of accident black spots, reviewing traffic law, signage and road safety issues which will be taken care of by a special team. He was speaking on the sidelines of the three-day ITS and Road Safety Forum Qatar 2012, where he delivered a keynote on 'Understanding the role of NTSC in keeping Qatar safe' yesterday at the Renaissance Hotel Doha.
The NTSC is under the headship of the Ministry of Interior with members coming from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (Baladiya), Supreme Council of Health, Supreme Education Council, Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Qatar University and Qatar Media Foundation. It is aimed at providing people utmost level of safety through sound traffic safety policies and identifying solutions to traffic problems, among other things.
Yousef Abdulrahman Al Emadi, Manager, Road Operations & Maintenance, Asset Affairs at Ashghal, said the ten-year strategy will involve many other sectors as it is a national strategy aimed at improving safety for both citizens and expatriates in all road networks. A total of 220 people died and 550 injured in recent year because of road accidents and year 2006 was the peak of road toll, he said, adding of the fatalities 34 percent were drivers, 24 percent passengers and 30 percent pedestrians.
"Most of those who die on road accidents are young between 20 to 40 years old because they use the road more so they face more risks," he said during his presentation on 'The road safety challenges for Qatar." With the implementation of a road safety program in year 2007, there had been a decrease in road accidents, he noted, adding any traffic safety program should look into best practices from other countries but designed for Qatar whether it is on engineering, enforcement or education.
"Qatar is facing rapid growth and the challenge is to continue to devise solutions in order to decrease road toll as the number of vehicles increase," he said. Among the key areas to improve safety for both motorists and pedestrians that he mentioned included speed management, use of safety belts, safer roadsides and vehicles and driver distractions.
He announced a safety manual to be implemented in all national projects and other related projects would be released soon which will ensure road diversion projects follow international standards.