The General Directorate of Traffic, the National Committee for Traffic Safety, Hamad Medical Corporation, and the Transportation Studies Centre at Qatar University observed the World Day of Remembrance for Road Accident Victims (WDR) recently at the the General Directorate of Traffic in Madinat Khalifa. The gathering focused on the theme Towards UN 2020 Target: Reduce road fatalities and serious injuries by 50%.
WDR is commemorated on the third Sunday of November each year to remember all those who are killed or injured in road accidents.
Brig Mohammed Saad Al-Kharji, Director General of the General Directorate of Traffic said the commemoration recalls the tragedy and evaluates the efforts of everyone – the police, ambulance and civil defence in traffic safety – as a reminder of the big losses incurred during accidents.
He pointed out to the United Nations plan to strengthen the efforts in this framework, which has been ratified by all countries. Called ‘Plan of Decade 2011-2020’, it invites all countries to reduce the number of deaths by 50% by 2020.
Regarding the role of the health sector, post-incident response and the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries on the road, Sheikh Dr Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health said it was important to remember that road accidents kill an estimated 12,500 people worldwide each year, in addition to 50 million different injuries causing continuous disability for victims. The injuries resulting from traffic accidents are the the main cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 29 years.
He said the Ministry of Public Health is concerned with responding after road accidents to save the injured drivers, passengers and paedestrians, and reduce the number of serious injuries and its complications.
Among the initiatives adopted are improving communication services for the ambulance service, providing more than 1,450 ambulance personnel answering thousands of calls. This has led to make the telephone response time about five seconds, and the arrival time to the scene seven minutes inside Doha, and eight minutes outside.’
From his part, Lt. Col. Mohammad Radhi Al Hajri, Director of Media and Traffic Awareness Department at the General Directorate of Traffic, spoke about the objectives of awareness and its role in spreading traffic awareness among the different types of the communities.
Dr Kim Greo, Director of the National Traffic Safety Office, discussed Qatar’s vision for traffic safety, the requirements of the United Nations Plan for the Decade 2011-2020, and the efforts of the State of Qatar to support and improve traffic safety.
A number of participants were also honoured during the celebration. An awareness exhibition was held on the sidelines to educate the public on road safety procedures.
For more information about traffic safety, visit the Ministry of Interior website at portal.moi.gov.qa.