When pedestrians are involved in accidents, their injuries are usually more severe (and can be fatal) than most other road users, especially those in vehicles, because they are unprotected. While vehicle drivers are expected to remain alert when they are on the roads to avoid accidents, whether, with pedestrians or other vehicles, it is equally the responsibility of pedestrians to stay compliant with the traffic laws in Qatar and do their part to avoid accidents.
These laws have been in force in Qatar for many years.
Pedestrians are prohibited from walking in the middle of the carriageway/roadway or in places designated for cyclists where there are pavements(carriageway/ roadway consists of a main road on which vehicles are not restricted by any physical barriers or separation).
Pedestrians shall use the pavement (sidewalk) where available.
In the absence of pavements, pedestrians shall walk on the far right-hand side of the road opposite to the direction of vehicles, so they can see the vehicles coming from the front. However, pedestrians may walk on the far right-hand side of the road, even if the cars are coming from behind them, as long as they are cautious.
When walking on the carriageway outside cities, pedestrians shall undertake to walk on the far side of the carriageway that is opposite to the direction of their own movement and shall walk behind one another whenever possible.
Authorised infantry processions are exempted from the provision of the preceding paragraph, and they shall be on the far right-hand side of the road in the direction of traffic, as shall any pedestrian who is pushing other things.
Pedestrians intending to cross the carriageway shall do so with caution, and shall first ensure that the place chosen does not expose them to any danger or cause obstruction to vehicular traffic, and shall use the nearest transit route for pedestrians, if available, or the shortest route taking into account the distance between them and the approaching vehicles, as well as the speed of such vehicle.
When crossing the carriageway on a designated path, pedestrians shall observe the following:
Pedestrian traffic lights if available.
No crossing as long as traffic police are instructing vehicles to pass.
Pedestrians may not penetrate the ranks of military or organised groups operating under the supervision of a responsible person or any other authorised processions.
In all cases, pedestrians must observe and take account of traffic signals and rules.
Penalties for pedestrians who don't follow the laws
As a pedestrian, if you don't follow the laws mentioned above, you will be subject to penalties by the Traffic police. Find out below what kind of fine you can get for breaking the law (QNA; MOI):
Walking on the medium strip of the road, or in places designated for cycling only, and non-compliance at the extreme end of the road against traffic: QR 100.
Not taking necessary precautions while crossing the main section (intersection) of the road: QR 200.
Not using designated areas like zebra crossings, to cross the road: QR 200.
Not following the traffic signals and not taking the required precautions when crossing the main section (intersection) of the road through assigned places: QR 500.
Not following the Traffic Police's signals to stop when they allow vehicles to move: QR 500.
Breaking through military parades and processions: QR 500.
National Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022
The National Traffic Safety Committee's National Road Safety Strategy was released on 13 January 2013 with the aim to enhance Qatar’s commitment to reducing injuries and fatalities incurred during road accidents. The aim was to develop “a safe road transport system that protects all road users from death and serious injury”. (Hukoomi), and "to reduce road traffic-related fatalities to 130 and the number of serious injuries to 300 by 2022." (Qatar Road Safety)
Find out what actions are being taken to ensure pedestrians of all kinds are safe and secure when out and about in Qatar:
1. Actions taken for general pedestrian safety in Qatar
Implementing priority campaigns on pedestrian safety.
Educating children and young people in schools and colleges about safe road use.
Improving the design of roads for pedestrian safety.
Providing consistent and complete footpaths and crossings for pedestrians.
Identifying roads that need improvement for pedestrians.
Encouraging the introduction of vehicles that are less likely to kill or injure pedestrians
Encouraging the use of high visibility reflective clothing and bags for pedestrians using the roads at night.
Enforcing road traffic laws (including speed violations) relating to the safety of pedestrians.
2. Actions taken for road workers in Qatar
Workers who are on the roads as part of their work duty face a higher risk of being hit while they are working, and as pedestrians, they must also be kept safe from passing vehicles and work zone incidents as well.