The ‘Schools without Accidents’ campaign launched yesterday for the second year running by the Traffic Department is aimed at cutting the number of road accidents in Qatar by half, a top official has said. The campaign aims at raising awareness about road safety among students.
Traffic Department expert and general co-ordinator of the National Campaign for Road Accident Prevention, Brig Mohamed Abduallah al-Malki, said “there has been a decrease in the number of deaths in 2009 but a final picture will emerge only by December.”
The number of road accident deaths in the country fell by 20% in 2008 compared to the previous year. The total number of road accidents last year was 20,455, with approximately 200 deaths, according to the Traffic Department.
The initiative, launched within the framework of the ‘National Campaign for Road Accidents Prevention,’ is a programme to raise awareness on the importance of road safety among students across Qatar.
Al-Malki added that 35% of road accident victims were pedestrians who were usually expatriates. “Therefore the campaign this year will focus on expatriate schools as well as local ones,” al-Malki pointed out.
The campaign will be funded by the International Bank of Qatar (IBQ), who has given QR500,000 to the Traffic Department. The bank donated QR250,000 to the cause last year. According to al-Malki, the money will be spent on brochures, signboards, and competitions.
“Too many of our young people never have the chance to realise life’s opportunities as their lives are cut tragically short by preventable road accidents,” said IBQ managing director George Nasra.
“We can and must do even more to reduce the number of traffic accidents and fatalities – especially among our youth.”
A recent survey conducted by Gulf Times had shown that 41% of the respondents feel that Qatar was the worst country to drive because of the number of accidents caused by reckless driving.
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