Zebra crossings -what are they for?

By butterfly

[img_assist|nid=3569|title=zeebra|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=145|height=180]Last night I went for a walk to the Sofitel area with my little one on her stroller and came across few zebra crossing that were not regulated with traffic lights.

(Now, before you ask what the ...I was doing around the sofitel area, I don't know, I just walked for the sake of walking and ended up in that area!)

I assume that, as in any other part of the civilised world, zebra crossings give priority to the pedestrians once they have started to cross. Hence, traffic must stop and give way to pedestrians crossing the road. Right? Or am I wrong?

After few attempts to cross the road I will tell you that zebra crossings in Doha serve for other purposes. So what are they for? Decorative marks on the road? Please some ne unveil this mystery...

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By anonymous• 13 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5

Heavy trucks cost QAR. 200,000 & fancy salon car cost QAR 200,000.

Salon cars might be victims of 4 wheelers. For this reason, buy the heavy truck.

Heavy trucks are heigh.

Heavy trucks are fast enough to take you anywhere In-Sha-Allah.

4 wheelers can not hurt you while you are the heavy truck In-Sha-Allah.

Only concern is that heavy trucks are only for two passengers. Yet you can design something to make the heavy truck get more passengers.

By Ivanhoe• 13 years 11 months ago.

The simple fact - in all the world - this is the place where you are MOST LIKELY TO DIE IN A CAR ACCIDENT. This despite having mainly modern cars and extremely few drunk drivers. It's not smugness nor superiority, it's about some idiot killing you or someone close to you. My last image of Qatar - I do not want it to be my death.

By Tigasin321• 13 years 11 months ago.

It is true that there are a lot of ignorant statements in this thread. There also seems to be a degree of western ex pat superiority and smugness.

However, the fact remains that the standard of driving is very poor and unneccessarily dangerous in Qatar. I admit that my own driving has deteriorated since I have been here.

The problem is certainly not just with Qataris. We all know that this is true but we also know that we all have to do better and not be dragged down to the very poor average.

The roads will become more crowded not less and patience will be further stretched by new infrastructure projects. We all need to be a lot more considerate and to set a good example. I think this will be more effective than smugness.

By rashed2020• 13 years 11 months ago.

"what is the history of driving in doha ? 30 years...10 years? "

I'm sorry to have to dig up a dead topic but I have to say that this is some of the most ignorant shiznit I have ever read.

Most of the crazy drivers are what, 18 - 30 years old max? Yea, cars were only in Doha for 10 years, that's why I can remember hopping on the camel with my dad 11 years ago to go to school. Cars have been here for over (I repeat, OVER) 50 years, I don't think these people were looking for girls on their pimped out camels back then.

I don't think anyone in Doha who was part of the Qatari camel riding era is still on the roads. But I have to commend you, I have never been more amazed by reading a few lines. I think I'll recommend you to Steven Speilberg. I heard he's planning on doing a fantasy movie - maybe you could write it for him?

And before anyone tells me to stop being so defensive etc. etc. I'm not. I don't mind constructive criticism but I just have a habit to point out ignorance when I see it.

By straycat• 13 years 12 months ago.

Thus explains Porcupine's and Butterfly's near-death experience near Corniche..

By lzxcoco• 13 years 12 months ago.

zeba crossing is meant for the zebra, since there is no zebra here, camel may do. but sure not for human, as the human might be death easily due to the terrible traffic conditions.......

By sidewinder• 14 years 21 hours ago.

Good one lzxcoco.... when in Qatar do as the qatari's do... hehehe ...because of the petro dollars and the very fact that we are workers in the desert.... viva la expat...

By lzxcoco• 14 years 1 day ago.

when u r in qatar, u need the qatar driving licence.

when u r in qatar, u just need to follow the way the local drives...

when u r in qatar, u r making the qatar $$

when u r in qatar, remember who is paying your month end salary.

when u r in qatar, u have to give way to those driving 180km/h

when u r in qatar, u have to give way to those big landcruiser.

when u r in qatar, u have to give way to those mustang, bmw....

when u r in qatar, u r a guest.

when u r in qatar, u r a worker.

when u r in qatar, remember this is a desert.

when u r in qatar, there is no rain.

when u r in qatar, the petrol price is cheaper then mineral water.

when u r in qatar, the green plant is more expensive then the grass back in your home country.

when u r in qatar, just remember u r in qatar.

when u r in qatar, welcome to qatar.

By anonymous• 14 years 4 days ago.

In the future, In-Sha-Allah when we have a good bus system, we will abandon using our own automobiles. For this reason, we will not need to pay fines for using cell phones while driving.

By han19• 14 years 4 days ago.
Rating: 4/5

no fines or point system can change the situation here bcos people are just arrogant the minute they get behind the steering wheel, their attitude is that they are in control of the car and they are safe drivers, nomatter what speed they are driving at.they forget they are trying to control a machine that can go crazy if you go crazy behind it. hilal roundabouts has signals put up, guess who breaks the signals when all are waiting for the signal to go green, the mowassalat taxis and huge landcruisers.

there were stories of children who have died at the corniche signal, when the entire family was crossing the road, but one lunatic decided he couldnt wait for the signal to go green, worse, he never stopped to look behind what happened.othes had to rush the child to the hospital. crazy fools driving as if its a matter of life and death in the inner lanes, residential streets, and worst is young kids (who should not be in the drivers seat or the front side seat), trying to drive a four wheeler in the inner streets.now i am angry at how callous and careless parents can be.

parents should be educated about road safety and every other safety that is to be educated about in this world.we are responsible for what our children do tomorrow.

in doha until locals, learn to respect and follow their own rules, nothing will change, they can paint zebra crossing all over the country, and it wont make any difference, because thats what it will be, just black and white paint.

By Ivanhoe• 14 years 4 days ago.

No problem just dont complain if someone hits you because they could not tell what direct you want to go in. Just because lots of people dont use them makes it right not to indicate. Personally I have better things to do than wait for cops because some lazy driver caused an accident.

By munchman• 14 years 4 days ago.

personally I see nothing wrong in using hazard warning lights in fog. At least it is something, and nobody seems to use their indicatiors anyway!

By butterfly• 14 years 4 days ago.

nope, there is no point system here, if it was, the roads would be empty!!!

I agree, fines do nothing to solve the problem.

By novita77• 14 years 4 days ago.

i got fine 200 QR last time i registered my car (around 3 weeks ago), when i asked what that is for he said because i drive and talking on the mobile phone. I never do that in my life ... i always have a handsfree in the car. I showed my handsfree to the police man who served me. Then the police man said that my child not buckle in. Told him that i have a car seat fitted on my car. I even wanted to show him the car seat to him. Then he said if i want to pursue it further i have to go to Khalifa (traffic department).

At that time i just given up and pay the fine plus the registration fee. Can't be bother with loosing more time and have to go all the way to Khalifa.

By andyscrabble• 14 years 4 days ago.
Rating: 2/5

Not having got my driving licence yet, I'm not sure if Qatar has a points system in place. But if not, surely it would be better if fines were supplemented by a points scheme? Fines of 1000 riyals are chicken feed to expensive Land Cruiser drivers and those with exotic sports cars (who appear to have no clue whatsoever on how to handle them).

If the police banned drivers who mount kerbs, drive recklessly or at excessive speeds, perhaps those drivers would learn more. Let them do without their cars in the scorching heat. Hit them where it hurts. It's the only way.

By helfrich• 14 years 5 days ago.
Rating: 4/5

What are the Zebra Crossings for?? Doha Zoo is undergoing an expansion programme and the entire city will be incorporated. Zebra; who, as everyone knows, are very law abiding animals (no grey areas!!) need to have places to cross roads. So, there you are. There are some drivers here in Doha that should consider attaching white sticks to the front of their cars, or they should re-consider the standard of eye test for a driving license. Hey, Fellow Dohations, deal with it man!!

By novita77• 14 years 5 days ago.

this morning was really foggy, during school run i drove on right hand lane 80kmph, this land cruiser flash his head light behind me and very near on my bumper.

i am not comfortable driving fast in the fog. I think you commit suicide doing that. :-(

By Ivanhoe• 14 years 5 days ago.
Rating: 4/5

Does anyone have contacts at QBS or Qatar Gas? Can they please pull the advert in English saying we need to drive safely - I drive my wife to work each day and I hear this 2 or 3 times each trip. Safe driving for me in my car is managing to avoid all the ignorant, or even worse, arrogant drivers who do not show any respect for those around them. Part of being a skillful driver is to drive to the conditions around you and from what I have experienced - there are few skillful drivers in Qatar. (Un)fortunately most of the many near misses I have seen have not been with western expats.

PS: To those few out there - If it is foggy - use you headlights - not your hazard lights, which render the (often unused) indicators completely useless.

By jaelee• 14 years 5 days ago.

It's a bit of the blame attitude happening here. The cars are not the problem ... it's the drivers!!!!!

By marcoantholin• 14 years 5 days ago.

while browsing i found these clips, which are from youtube, its kinda hilarious but seriously ill, the second one i think that is their driving intstitute? lolz ;) :(



By e46M3• 14 years 5 days ago.

Go to the American and British schools and tell me again "most forigners in Qatar have small salon cars"!

By Loki• 14 years 5 days ago.
Rating: 4/5

Are you seriously saying that 60km/hr (as per the dial) in a Landcruiser is the same as eg 90km/hr (on the dial) in another, smaller car????? SERIOUSLY???????

ETA: You contradict yourself. You first say it's the dial speed that's different, then you say it's the driver's perception. Perception, yes; dial speed - no. And accurate perception of one's surroundings is certainly an attribute I wish all drivers here had. (key word: wish)

By anonymous• 14 years 5 days ago.
Rating: 5/5

Angry drivers, narrow roads, too much autos.

Qatar needs to reuce the cars that are operating on its roads. Every automobile operator seems angry & upset while driving. Mowasalat MUST receive attention from the Qataris & Qatari government to be developed. I ask Mowasalt to accept donation from now

Most Arab Qatari people have four wheel drive cars because they borrow money from banks. On the other hand most forigners in Qatar have small salon cars.

Generally speaking, four wheel drive cars are faster than the salon cars. For this reason, when the speed meter marks 60k/m in a four wheel drive car, the salon car speed meter might mark 90k/m if the driver of a salon car need to increase his speed in order to reach the same speed of the four wheel drive car.

Four wheel drive & salon car drivers should understand that. The perception of speed of each car driver is different. The four wheel drive car drivers may think that the salon drivers are driving slowley. However, the salon cars' drivers may think that the four wheel drive car drivers are driving crazily.

The government of Qatar should make a law to restrict the usage of four wheel drive cars to certain roads.

By butterfly• 14 years 6 days ago.


It’s really funny that you should have mentioned the traffict lights at the Corniche because I also had a very lucky escape there!

Will tell you about it:

It was probably my fist week in Doha and I was waiting to cross from the Corniche to the Park. The lights turned green and the Suv in the lane next to me stopped to give me way, but I failed to spot the Suv that was approaching very fast from the middle lane! I started to cross and as I was approaching the second lane I almost got run over (half a second, and I wouldn’t be here!) It was so close!. I was shaken and when I made it safely to the park I started to cry uncontrollably for a long while! I was pregnant at the time and my hormones were all over the place, hence the crying…lol.

At the time it was a very traumatic experience, but now, looking back I see that this is the best thing that could have happened to me on my arrival to Doha. It was like an eye opener, like God had put me through that near-death situation for a reason… I often think that if when that happened had I been pushing my daughter in her stroller she would have been killed instantly, no doubt, so I am extremely cautious now thanks to that episode.

By Mr Niceguy• 14 years 6 days ago.
Rating: 2/5
Mr Niceguy

Driving tests effectively don't exist. My students can look pretty blank when presented with examples of Western eccentricity, but you should have seen them trying to get their heads around a story of a British clergyman who'd failed his test on a number of occasions. No-one fails a test here.

Another factor is the insurance regime, which effectively means that we're subsidising the kids in the landcruisers.

But what upsets me most about the driving here is the total disregard for morality, even on the part of the authorities. The government's safe-driving campaign is directed only at Qatari drivers who might kill themselves, whereas most fatalities are, of course, pedestrians & passengers, especially children. It's the impatience and barging in front and the vicious, aggressive selfishness of the driving here that most appals, and if that isn't a matter of moral behaviour, I don't know what is. And I've never seen an Islamic moral tract that dealt with that subject.

Qataris assure me that driving is worse in Saudi.

By AJ• 14 years 6 days ago.
Rating: 5/5

After having been in Doha for only a couple of weeks and driving in this traffic I have made a few observations:

1. Car manufacturers could cut the costs of vehicles shipped to Qatar.

2. They don't need signal lights (they are rarely used)

3. They don't need overspeed indicators (they are ignored anyway.)

4. They don't need seat belts (for the same reason as no.2)

5. They do need heavy duty horns and bigger brake pedals.

6. The Qatari people are very nice but are probably the world's worst drivers.

7. Traffic circles should be abolished because most drivers here don't know how to use them.

8. Driving schools should be under the NASCAR or some such Race car organization.

9. Knowing how to take a traffic circle at 120 KPH in a four wheel drift is mandatory.

By e46M3• 14 years 6 days ago.
Rating: 4/5

... the lack of respect motorists have in Doha.

Not only zebra crossings but the handicapped access parts of the sidewalks. Drivers just use them to mount the sidewalk and park on it.

It's up to the police to educate their men then send them out to enforce REAL traffic laws. Parking in a handicapped spot? 1000 Riyal fine. Mounting the kerb? 500 Riyals. overtaking on the right or through sliproads just to jump the queue in traffic jams because you think you're better than everyone else? 750 Riyals. Forcing your way into the middle of the roundabout (especially in a Landcruiser or H2) because you're big and bad and will trash the right of way oncoming vehicle? 750 Riyals.

Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting.

By lzxcoco• 14 years 6 days ago.
Rating: 2/5

before the so called "car" was invented, we walk, or we ride horses or camels.

before the latest model of the top end makes are shipped to doha, i think, camel is the main mode of transportation, u don't need traffic rules then, or zebra crossing.

what is the history of driving in doha ? 30 years...10 years? i don't know, probably quite some time after they found the gas at the north. so you need years to learn to drive like a gentleman back in England. which driving has been existing for the last 100 years...............

By Tigasin321• 14 years 6 days ago.

Not road rage I hasten to add. There are a few things I have to get off my chest. Zebra crossings are just the start of it. The moronic behavior which really appalls me is the habit of many people in putting babies on dashboards of cars and SUVs and of little children not wearing seatbelts, standing on seats or hanging out of windows while their parents are safely belted. What the hell are they thinking of??

Also, people on bikes with no lights riding against the traffic. They are invisible until the last second. Pedestrians making mad dashes across four lanes of traffic on the D and C rings. Its madness.

However, I do have a lot of sympathy for pedestrians because there are no pedestrian underpasses or reliable crossings. What are they supposed to do?

I like Doha and I like Qatar but if the administration could do one thing to improve this country dramatically, it would be to make life safer for pedestrians and children and I don't understand why nothing is done.

By Terramax• 14 years 6 days ago.
Rating: 3/5

If we will start asking all our "why"'s here, we won't have time for anything else... and we won't be able to change anything anyhow.

Btw. I have no problem with Qatari - they might drive like crazy, but they are nice and courteous in transit. But some drivers from subcontinent, especially minibus and heavy truck drivers shouldn't be on the street at all. I wonder when and how they got their driving licenses...

By butterfly• 14 years 6 days ago.

SD: If drivers are clueless about a very basic rule of priority such as pedestrian crossings...WHY on earth are they allow to drive in the first place????? I mean, that's probably the first rule of road safety that you learn at four years old or so. Are they really clueless or just plain nasty?

Richard and MarcoA: if that's an imported idea and just serves for decorative purposes, then do not the authorities realise that this is a very dangerous game???? Zebra crossings give a false sense of security to pedestrians. A sense of security that indeed does not exist, making its use even more dangerous than if they were not there at all. If that's the case, then they should be removed and crossing will be a little safer.

By porcupine• 14 years 6 days ago.
Rating: 5/5

Talking about zebra crossings, my husband and I had a narrow escape last Wednesday, 11th October, 2006 at the pedestrian crossing on the Corniche just before the Museum.

As we live just behind the Museum and we go for a brisk walk along the Corniche every evening, we don't take our car but rather walk from home via this zebra crossing. Having pressed the button for the green light we started to cross and a few cars halted as they were supposed to, as their signal was red, but from out of the blue we heard a terrifying loud bang just behind us. A Honda Accord driven by an Arab expatriate who perhaps was driving at a speed of more than 120 kph hit and overturned a refrigerated truck and had his car wrecked. And having heard that loud bang, I pulled my husband away so much so that we both panicked and he tripped over me and we both fell on to the other side of the road where cars were coming in the opposite direction. Fortunately the traffic was far away about 100 m away from the signals, otherwise both of us would have been run over and I wouldn't have been here relating this incident. Had we been a little slow in crossing we would have been the victims and been thrown out by that speeding Honda Accord. Thank God almighty that we were saved is all we can say. Each new day is a day of thanksgiving.

By marcoantholin• 14 years 6 days ago.

maybe they just saw it in other countries and thought its nice to place also in the roads of doha,..additional attraction for the upcoming ASEAN games(sorry for the sarcasm),..

seriously, its a pity situation,...

By Tigasin321• 14 years 6 days ago.
Rating: 3/5

Pedestrians are neither welcome or tolerated in Doha. Even the police vehicules completely disregard pedestrian crossings. I think that pedestrian crossings were a cut and paste idea imported from elsewhere and that you would be crazy to have any faith in them at all.

By SD• 14 years 6 days ago.

I have feeling that not all drivers in Doha even know about priority pedestrians on zebra crossing mark. Probably there is just lack of driving knowledge, discipline or culture.

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