Qatar is committed to installing hi-tech traffic signals and related equipment in line with the goals and objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims at putting things in a proper perspective while enhancing the capabilities of its people at different levels, said Ashghal director of infrastructure affairs Jalal Yousef Salhi.
The senior Qatari engineer was opening the ITS & Road Safety Forum, held under the aegis of Ashghal yesterday.
While highlighting the need for the best traffic and telecommunication systems, he said as part of the country’s infrastructural development in preparation for major events to be held in coming years, including the FIFA World Cup Final 2022, a series of works are to be executed all over the country.
The event held in partnership with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the National Traffic Safety Committee alerted decision makers about the most important new developments and issues on roads.
Adviser of Ashghal’s roads operations and maintenance department Imad Nassereddine said: “The country’s Public Works Authority has 15 key initiatives and ‘Keep Doha Moving’ is one of its major initiatives. The ambitious plans include managing the traffic along the Corniche with the implementation of an effective ITS strategy.”
Nassereddine said Ashghal has already issued pre-qualification documents for procurement of ITS equipment and “is looking forward to participation from the global industry”. The official also spoke on the importance of additional CCTV coverage along important roads.
Nassereddine identified some roads where sweeping changes would be felt in coming years. “Besides the work on the Corniche, important roads like C-Ring Road, the expressways to Salwa and Dukhan will feature a host of top quality traffic systems in the next few years”, he said.
The three-day annual event has already attracted hundreds of participants, and will see discussions between ITS and road safety engineers, managers, consultants, contractors and suppliers.
Also speaking in a session later, Shell’s global road safety manager Mike Watson said: “Road safety needs are to be initiated by top management and implemented at different levels in an infrastructure development organisation.
“At Shell, the leadership commitment to safety does indeed come from the top. We have seen a significant decrease in road fatalities and incidents around the world due to a systematic implementation of road safety management systems.”
In the sessions the speakers answered an array of questions on the importance of strengthening the public transport system in Qatar. While highlighting the need for reducing public vehicles on the roads, one of the key speakers said it would not only help authorities complete a number of infrastructure projects on time but would also drastically reduce the traffic congestion experienced in the city.
Speaking earlier Conference director Ashley Philips said: “Roads and ITS will play pivotal and powerful roles in the country’s infrastructure development in the run up to the FIFA World Cup 2022.
“In its efforts to meet the country’s demands and development strategies for QNV 2030, the the annual ITS and Road Safety Forum Qatar gathers key decision makers whose judgements and expertise form the core of this multi-billion dollar industry,” he said.
The next sessions would focus on integrating ITS solutions to improve road safety, reduce fatalities and monitor progress, understanding driver behaviour and the most common distractions. It will also deliberate on actions that could be taken, including education and technology, and obtaining stakeholder outreach and participation when implementing ITS.