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Posted On: 17 June 2008 08:40 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Ministry of Traffic clashes with Asghal

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
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Providing facilities for pedestrians to cross roads is not the responsibility of Traffic Department but it is the duty of Ashghal, a senior official has said. Responding to questions, Brig Mohamed Abdullah al-Malki, technical adviser at the Traffic Department and co-ordinator of a national campaign on road safety, said the department had asked Ashghal (Public Works Authority) to provide either foot bridges or subways in the new projects. “But there is no response”. Ashghal was against footbridges and “they are not building underpasses,” he said. Since crossing high speed roads is risky and dangerous, “we recommend putting up of fences”, Brig Al-Malki said. Told that it would mean a pedestrian walking a couple of extra kilometres just to go across the road, he said, “This is better than getting killed.” In a three-lane high speed road, like the C or D Ring Roads, he said, it would be very difficult for a pedestrian to judge the speed of an approaching vehicle. “The risk of getting hit is real.” The department was against people crossing roads which had a speed limit of 60km or more. On those roads which had slower speeds, there could be signal lights where pedestrians could cross safely. He said this year’s national safety campaign would be concentrating on pedestrians too. The official refuted an observation that following a lull immediately after the promulgation of the new traffic law last October, people once again were flouting the rules. According to the department’s observation, the official said, 85% to 90% of the motorists used seat belts. Similarly, children were made to sit in the back seats too. More drivers were now using such devises as Bluetooth, he said. Whenever anyone was found using a hands-on mobile phone, he said, police personnel always stopped him and notified of the law, he said. “We notice a significant drop in those who use phones while driving.”