DOHA: Theoretical classes will be made a part of driving lessons when the Traffic Department starts implementing new rules for driving schools from August 27, a senior official of the department has said.
The department is expected to meet with officials of all driving schools here soon to brief them on the new guidelines. Brigadier Mohammed Saad Al Kharji, director of the Traffic Department, while speaking at the Ramadan tent of the Ministry of Interior, said that executive regulations would be issued soon as a precursor to implementation of the new rules.
The official said driving schools would be asked to give theoretical classes along with practical lessons to new trainees. Currently, some driving schools are offering theoretical classes but they are not compulsory. The theoretical lessons should include basic information about vehicle parts and their functioning, how to change a damaged tyre etc, added Kharji.
It is not clear whether any major changes have been proposed in the methods of training used by driving schools. An official of a leading driving school told this newspaper yesterday that the schools were yet to be informed about the new rules. The Traffic Department has convened a meeting of driving school officials this week, he said.
Al Kharji said an online awareness campaign on traffic safety being conducted by the department through its website had become a big hit with the youth.
“The programme, which is a first in the region, has succeeded in reaching out to the targeted group that is the youth,” said Al Kharji.
He said the number of deaths due to traffic accidents was one of the highest in 2006, reaching 270. However, they had come down to 223 last year. He attributed this decline to the success of the new traffic law as well as the national awareness campaign being waged by the department in collaboration with various civic organisations since 2003.
He noted that daredevil acts performed by some youth on motorcycles had also come down of late and such drivers were also now abiding by the law.
Brigadier Mohammed Abdullah Al Malki, coordinator of the national awareness programme, said several studies conducted in the past had shown that a majority of the road accidents in Qatar were caused by the use of low-quality spare parts, especially rings and tyres. He advised motorists to keep away from doing that.
He added that 30 to 35 percent of the road accidents in Qatar involved drivers aged between 16 and 26.
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