Using Cell Phones Causes More Than Half of Fatal Accidents in Qatar

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Peninsula -- More than half of fatal traffic accidents and serious injuries are caused due to the use of cell phones while driving, a senior official at the General Directorate of Traffic said.


“Engaging in cell phone caused 44.1% of the minor injuries, 52.2% of the serious injuries and 51.6% of the deaths, of the total traffic accidents recorded recently,” Maj. Muhammad bin Jassim Al Thani, Head of Traffic at the South Security Department, said.


“The violation of using cell phone while driving comes second among the most common violations that cause traffic accidents, after the violation of over speeding, which ranks first in this list,” he pointed out while speaking yesterday at a press conference at the Traffic Department headquarters among the ongoing “Accident-free Summer” campaign.


He confirmed that traffic awareness campaigns, intensification of patrolling operations and the execution of legal systems had significantly helped in reducing mobile phone related traffic violation, especially after the installation of security cameras in the streets to control violators.


“This was proven by comparison of violations in previous years that recorded 12,651 violations in 2010 and 27,735 violations in 2015.  However, with increased awareness among the public, these violations have decreased. The year 2016 witnessed a significant decrease in the number of violations of the use of the phone during driving to 10,654 violations, which reached to 4,078 violations in the first half of this year.”


The slogan of the campaign this week will be “a phone call could cost you your life”. The campaign comes within the framework of the Ministry of Interior’s interest in ensuring the safety and security of drivers and pedestrians and their property, and reducing the number of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents.


He said that the impact of using mobile phone or other devices, would result in troubling the concentration and distraction of the mind, which is reflected on the performance of the driver of the vehicle in track deviation on the road, or remarkable delay of his reaction with the conditions of the road. It could also cause to decline the speed of the vehicle than normal, and the possibility of crossing the traffic signals. 


He added that this slogan comes in accordance with the provisions of Article No.55 of the Traffic Law No.19 of 2007, which obligates the driver of the motor vehicle not to use the mobile phone or any other device in any way that requires the use of hands for carrying or operation while driving.


The law has used the term “non-use” to be more comprehensive than “non talking”, meaning not to use the phone, in either conversation or text messaging.


The Traffic Law has stipulated a fine of QR500 on the phone user while driving, using his hand, as well as on those who are engaged in watching any visible material from a television or other devices, with the objective of preserving lives and property. The campaign will focus on awareness on violations in the coming weeks as well.