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Posted On: 13 May 2020 10:06 pm
Updated On: 14 May 2020 05:25 pm

Driving etiquette rules to keep you safe on Qatar roads

Khadiza Begum
Khadiza Begum
Content Writer
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Whether you're on your way to work, or home following the driving etiquette rules can keep everyone on the road safe and prevents road rage. If you want to breeze through the Qatar roads as a safe and courteous driver, then let’s learn more about some important rules and manners.

Keep safe distance

Keeping a safe distance protects any vehicle from accidents. Always be mindful about leaving sufficient safety distance, especially in cases of a sudden stop. The safety distance varies according to the circumstances and the driving environment, under normal circumstances should not be less than 5 - 10 meters (estimated).

However, in the case of rain and wind, the distance shall be multiplied more than twice. Some motorists ignore these rules completely, and thus these behaviors result in a high percentage of minor traffic accidents resulting from a rear collision due to insufficient safety distance.

Remember the importance of seat-belt

Seat belts reduce the risk of death and cut the risk of serious injury. According to CDC, people not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. But we often ignore this important aspect and think that seat belt is only for the person who drives.

Moreover, in Qatar, parents often make the mistake of letting their child sit without seatbelts. Doing so is extremely dangerous for children and, because of such carelessness, they're liable to be badly injured or even worse in the event of an accident. Remember, fines for placing infants under 10 years-old on the front seat is QR 500 and not fastening the seatbelt while driving for both the driver and front passenger is QR 500.

Don't overtake through the right side

We often find ourselves frustrated with fellow motorists. Driving too slowly or failing to indicate, these types of behaviors of other drivers can be irritating - and you want to overtake them. However, remember overtaking from the right side is considered as misbehavior, contrary to the rules of traffic. It is widely seen in intersections or signals. As it is contrary to traffic rules, the traffic law under Article 43/1 stipulated a violation of QR 500 for this offense, as mentioned on the official website of the Ministry of Interior.

Be careful while track changing in intersections

Moving on the specified road lanes and with stipulated speed limits on both internal and external roads is an important factor to ensure traffic safety. The adherence to the lanes, especially at intersections, is most important to avoid collisions that happen when changing the tracks from one direction to another direction. The track changing is widely seen in intersections after passing the signals. This is considered a violation of traffic according to the traffic law and regulations.

You should focus on driving when approaching intersections, and should adhere to the specified path and not change it under any circumstances, in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and safety of all. Note that, cameras have been installed near intersections to monitor such violations. The violations will be subsequently recorded and fines will be imposed on the violating drivers.

Be mindful about honking etiquette

Don’t just honk because you’re frustrated at another driver as inappropriate honking can not only be irritating but also distracting and dangerous. Horns should only be used in specific scenarios, for example, if someone is stopped at a green light or coming too close to you.

Be mindful that different honks might signify different warnings to other drivers. According to the Emily Post Institute, a quick beep means “Heads up. I’m here!” However, a slightly longer and louder beep says “Hey, the light’s been green for 10 seconds” or “Watch it!”

Don't use mobile phones when driving

Using any mobile phone during driving is dangerous due to its potential for causing distracted driving. Study says when you take your eyes off the road just for 5 seconds at 55 mph, you may have covered the distance of a football field. When you drive distracted, you don’t have your eyes on the road and you may easily hit a car that’s slowing down, or even injure a pedestrian.

Don't follow ambulances

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has advised motorists not to follow ambulances as it’s a blatant violation of traffic rules and regulations. Some drivers commit such violations in an attempt to get away from traffic jams. It is very important for motorists to help ambulances by giving way to move ahead as they must be performing.

Traffic safety of school buses

School bus drivers should be extra cautious while they transport children to and from school.
Drivers should take the necessary safety procedures including the conformity of the closure of the door tightly before moving, and avoid excessive speed o roads near or around schools. The bus doors shall not be opened before stopping the buses and the boarding and disembarking of students from buses should be controlled well and carefully.

Be aware of traffic points, violations, and fines in Qatar

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The Qatar driving license is based on a point system where drivers collect points for each infraction. A license is suspended for three months once a driver reaches 14 points. Repeat offenders can face lower point thresholds, longer suspension periods, and finally, cancellation of their license.

Violations can lead to hefty fines and even imprisonment in extreme cases. Points can also be racked up against your license and, once a limit is reached, you may no longer be permitted to drive. Read more here about traffic violations and fines in Qatar

Have you ever violated traffic rules, knowingly or unknowingly? Did you have to pay a fine? Let us know your experiences in the comments below, and don't forget to like and share this article to allow others to stay informed.