Speed kills is just a punch line that looks good on awareness billboards put up at busy traffic junctions all over the world. Tragically, this is true in Qatar too. The safety awareness campaigns held periodically by the traffic department, apparently, have had little impact on motorists from the younger age group.
The 24th issue of the Annual Bulletin of Vital Statistics (Births and Deaths), 2007 released by the Qatar Statistical Authority recently, reveals a majority of the victims of vehicle accidents are below 30 years of age.
Out of 242 deaths due to vehicular accidents last year, 91.4 percent were males. The data reveals a majority (52.1 percent) was below 30 years of age – 80 of them were between 20 and 29 years.
The number of deaths on roads in Qatar has declined after the new traffic law was enforced late last year. However, a large percentage of people dying in the prime of their life, calls for urgent remedial measures.
Each year, almost 400,000 young people under the age of 25 years are killed in road accidents - about 1,049 youngsters every day, according to World Health Organisation report. It also says that pedestrians and those using public transports are the main victims. But in Qatar, rarely are public buses involved in accidents.
According to the WHO report, speeding is more likely to be a factor when the driver is under 25 years old. Five percent increase in average speed leads to approximately a 10 percent increase in fatal crashes.
Automobile manufacturers around the world design and produce cars that are capable of travelling at speeds much above the official limits. They also focus on speed factors while advertising, alluring the wealthy young in to buying.
The desire for thrills and risk-taking is high among the youth, according to the WHO report. Speeding, racing cars with friends gives a feeling of achievement, beside youthful mechoism among boy in the 20 to 29 age group.
A majority of road accidents are attributed to driver error. Irresponsible driving leads to death of innocent citizen, besides economic and social losses. Though the National Campaign to Prevent Road Accidents, launched early this year, reduced the number of crashes, youth still constitute the majority of those involved in accidents.
I just need to talk about the Peninsula's Math skills.
50% of 242 is 121. So 121 people are below the age of 30. 80 of them are between 20-29 which means that 41 are under 20. It seems that some newspapers like to play with numbers, which although aren't lieing, are said in a way to manipuate thought.
Regardless, I feel no sympathy for speeders and hasty drivers who die. Yes I feel sympathy for those who die because of the speeders though. In a way, these speeders who are dieing are being filtered out of our society, and it's up to the police to ensure that the new generation drive better.
I've noticed that particularly women drivers here are too aggressive, never signal, and speed.