It's a well-known fact that fleeing intentionally from the scene of an accident, or a ‘hit and run’ as most of us know it, can result in serious repercussions and also criminal charges. Furthermore, leaving the scene of an accident is considered a consequential offense and is punishable by law.
In Qatar, there are specific procedures to follow when mishaps occur and laws governing if, for example, a person intentionally runs away after being involved in an accident. In a report by The Peninsula in 2017, a young man was punished by the court for committing a traffic accident, causing injury to a person, and running away from the scene. The court sentenced the young man in absentia with a fine of QR 3,000 for causing wrongful injury and a fine of QR 5,000 for the charge of escaping from the scene.
Prior that year, in 2106, Doha News reported that a man was convicted when he hit and killed a 4-year-old girl while driving recklessly. He was sentenced to jail for six months and was ordered to pay QR 40,000 in fines for reckless driving and fleeing the scene. Both he and his insurance company also paid blood money of QR 200,000 to the child’s family.
To further understand the laws and penalties on 'hit and run' accidents, the ILQ team went to the Traffic Department Headquarters in Khalifa street and asked around. Unfortunately, we were not able to get information from the Traffic Awareness and Traffic Investigations department. Both departments couldn't tell what exact laws and penalties exist in Qatar. We also emailed the Ministry of Interior regarding the matter, but they instructed us to go straight to the Traffic Department Headquarters to get the information.
The following is what we were able to find out about 'hit' and run' incidents from various sources:
In case of a hit and run accident, a longer procedure needs to be followed. This may take a while because of possible investigations and a lot of verifications of footages from CCTV cameras in the area of the accident.
Note: If the culprit is caught based on the CCTV footage, he or she needs to pay all the damages incurred in the accident through their insurance. If in case there is no CCTV footage available in the area to help in identifying the offender, the traffic investigation service decides on the matter and submits the complete report.
Although there is no clear law and penalty for those people who intentionally flee during accidents, victims can still file a complaint with the Traffic Department by producing the following:
Accidents can happen anywhere even in unexpected places well-lighted areas and empty side streets. For example, a branch of a tree falling on your windshield and damaging your bumper could be one. Another is when you're parked in a certain area, and your car suffers a dent because of falling debris or rocks, especially if you're near a construction site. If something like this happens to you, what do you do? Follow these simple steps and know exactly what to do.
In case of minor accidents between two vehicles, the parties involved should report it through Metrash2 website or mobile app service. To register the accident and to get the approval for vehicle repair, follow the steps below. Take not more than four photos of each vehicle with one of them showing the plate number clearly.
Note: If you are not at fault, then the insurance of the other driver you got in an accident with, will take care of repairing the vehicle. Find out which insurance company the car is insured by going to their office or call your own insurance company to see if they are willing to file the claim instead.
Police: 999, (+974) 4489-0699 / (+974) 4489-0670
Have you ever been involved in a car accident in Qatar? How did you deal with it and what further tips would you suggest? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to like and share this article -- it keeps us going!
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