Stricter monitoring in place for seat belt, mobile phone violations during driving
Qatar has been quite serious for some time about making its roads safe for everyone by implementing stricter laws.
On August 27, Qatar’s Traffic Department pre-activated a camera system that would automatically detect people who were not wearing seatbelts or speaking on their mobile phones while driving.
Until September 3, erring drivers will receive an SMS on their phone about the violation, without being fined for it. However, this will change once the system officially comes into force on September 3.
Major Hamad Ali Al Muhannadi, the Head of Radar and Scales Department at the General Directorate of Traffic, has shed more light on how violations will be determined.
While using headphones during drives or placing a mobile phone on the dashboard does not constitute a traffic violation, using any visual devices (including mobile phones) while driving is a violation.
“Searching or typing on a mobile phone, even for navigation, while driving is a violation according to article No. 55 of Traffic Law. It stipulates that being busy with any electronic visual device or using a mobile while driving is a violation,” said Al Muhannadi, during an interactive session with Al Rayan TV.
While a motorist can look at the screen in the car’s dashboard or mobile phone kept on the stand for navigation purposes, they should not search or type while driving.
“They should put on the navigation app before moving their vehicles,” Al Muhannadi said.
Seat belt and mobile phone violations will be detected through the unified radar system, which is connected to all radars and road CCTV cameras across the country.
Al Muhannadi said with decreased use of phones while driving, he expected road accidents to go down significantly.
“Our main focus is to ensure motorists wear seat belts and curb the use of mobile phones after successful implementation of the rules for reducing over-speeding,” he said.
“Mobile phones distract people’s attention while driving. Most accidents are caused by mobile phones. It’s very dangerous for motorists as it distracts their attention from driving,” added the top official.
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