A Traffic Department official has said that holding a mobile phone while driving is a violation of Qatar’s traffic rules, irrespective of the fact that the driver is using the handset for talking or not. He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of an Automated Insurance Machine (AIM) by Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) at the headquarters of the Traffic Department.
“It is not only talking on the phone but also carrying the phone for any other purpose while driving is a violation,” Lieut Riyad Ahmed, of the National Campaign for Road Accidents Prevention, said. Two of the main causes for road traffic accidents in Qatar are the use of mobile phones and speeding.
“Motorists may use their phones after their vehicles come a complete stop at a red traffic light or a parking area. Yet, as long as the vehicle is moving or waiting for crossing a roundabout or an unsignalised intersection, it is a traffic violation to even hold the phone,” the officer told the gathering .
Regarding giving way to ambulances and emergency vehicles, he said that while doing so motorists should be very careful not to risk their lives or the lives of others. “If the motorist has to jump the red light in such a case and he did not cause any harm, it will not be registered as a violation. It will be removed by the department in co-operation with the operation control room. However, motorists are advised to do this in extreme cases only and by exercising the utmost caution. They should first try to give way by moving their vehicles either to the right or to the left .”
The officer said the number of accidents was decreasing, taking into account the increasing number of new vehicles on the roads as well as the rising population.
The conversion of roundabouts in different locations into signalised intersections would positively affect the traffic circulation around the country, Traffic Department director Brig Mohamed Saad al-Kharji said. Brig al-Kharji said the launch of the AIM was aimed at easing the process of vehicle registration and the Ministry of Interior wanted to reduce the paper work. He hoped that in future customers could pay fines through an e-link in the same machine
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