Under the ongoing Accident-Free Summer Traffic Awareness Campaign, launched by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) last week, the General Directorate of Traffic continues its initiative this week, under a new theme on the violation of using mobile phones while driving. The slogan this week will be, ‘A Phone Call Could Cost You Your Life’.
The campaign comes within the framework of MOI’s mandate to ensuring the safety and security of drivers and pedestrians and their property, and reducing the number of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents.
Major Muhammad bin Jassim Al Thani, Head of Traffic at South Security Department, said that the violation of mobile phone use comes second among the most common violations that cause traffic accidents, after overspeeding, which ranks first in this list.
He said that the impact of using mobile phone or other devices often result in distraction, and affects the performance of the driver on the road. It could cause remarkable delay in reaction and in declined speed, and of possibly crossing traffic signals.
He confirmed that the traffic awareness campaigns and the intensified patrol operations significantly reduced traffic violations, especially after the installation of security cameras in the streets, compared to violations from previous years – 12,651 violations in 2010 and 27,735 violations in 2015. With increased public awareness, violations in 2016 witnessed a significant decrease in number of violations, specifically on the use of the phone while driving – 10,654 violations and 4,078 violations during the first half of this year.
According to statistics from the General Directorate of Traffic, of the total traffic accidents recorded recently, engaging in mobile phone caused 44.1% minor injuries, 52.2% serious injuries and 51.6% deaths.
The new slogan comes in accordance with the provisions of Article (55) of the Traffic Law No. (19) / 2007, which obliges drivers of motor vehicles not to use mobile phones or any other device that in any way requires the use of hands while driving. The law used the term ‘non-use’ to be more comprehensive than ‘not talking’, meaning not to use the phone, in either conversation or text messaging.
The Traffic Law stipulated a fine of QAR 500 for the violation – using the phone while driving, or engaging in watching from a television or other devices. The campaign will continue and focus on different traffic violations in the coming weeks.
For updates and more information about the Traffic Awareness Campaign of MOI, visit moi.gov.qa.