International Traffic Safety Conference begins

The International Traffic Safety Conference kicked off yesterday with the participation of representatives from several countries around the world, and a number of traffic safety experts from governmental entities.

The two-day event which will conclude today is being organised by the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with Qatar University and was held at Doha Sheraton Hotel.

The opening was attended by a number of Their Excellencies Ministers, officials, dignitaries, and researchers, specialists in transport and traffic safety and guests of the conference.

Following the inauguration, Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani inaugurated the Traffic Exhibition on the sidelines of the conference.

The Prime Minister toured the exhibition where he was briefed on the most important efforts in enhancing traffic safety and the latest techniques used in roads engineering and safety.

The conference tackles a number of different topics such as traffic safety engineering, driving behaviour, road users at risk, legal enforcement, post-accident investigations, internal vehicle technology, transport safety and security, intelligent transportation systems, traffic flow, road design, public transport, among other topics.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the conference, Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti said that: “We have taken great steps in the development of infrastructure including modern road networks, metro and mass transport, and the completion of large proportions in the construction of the stadiums for Qatar World Cup 2022 while a plan for linking land, air and sea transport has been developed.”

He pointed that the objectives of the National Traffic Safety Strategy were also developed to include sustainable transport, traffic safety, national economy and security.

“Meanwhile, National Traffic Safety Office was established and the second operational plan for the next five years was also launched.”

“At the global level, we are doing our part to support the United Nations and its organizations to achieve the desired goals and we are also working with the United Nations and the Ambassador of Traffic Safety in the world to accomplish the objectives,” he added.

Major General Mohamed Saad al Kharji, Vice-Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, said that road accidents were one of the most serious problems afflicting the contemporary world, and that the world has been alerted to this problem in recent years, and has put laws and policies to mitigate them as much as possible.

He said that the second phase of the implementation plan for the National Traffic Safety Strategy (2018-2022), which was launched in 2018, is underway. “This requires exceptional efforts, cooperation from all sides, and adoption of an unprecedented mechanism of implementation to address traffic problems, and the achievement of 2022 goals with high efficiency and on time.”

He said that although good results were achieved during the first phase of the National Traffic Safety Strategy 2013-2017, there is a major challenge ahead, which is to reduce the mortality rate by 10 deaths per year compared to 2017, to achieve the target of 2022, to reach 130. The pedestrian mortality also should be reduced from 32 percent to 17 percent and serious injuries to 400 by 2022.

“In addition actions have to be accelerated to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals endorsed by the State of Qatar by reducing congestion by 5% annually, developing city planning and road and transport networks, improving traffic safety, and addressing the causes of traffic accidents in the five traffic areas and municipal areas identified by the concerned authorities.”

Separately, speaking to media on the sidelines of the conference, Al Kharji said that all traffic indicators were suggesting a decrease in traffic accidents in Qatar, especially with regard to severe injuries when compared to the last year.

On pedestrians accidents, he said there are many pedestrian bridges that have been established and will help reduce pedestrian accidents too especially that we are required to be reduced from 32percent to 17percent. On a question about adopting a smart transport strategy, Al Kharji added that the General Directorate of Traffic is currently managing the roads through the control room, either in road monitoring or in seizing traffic violations.

Brigadier Mohammed Abdullah Al Malki, Secretary of the National Traffic Safety Committee said that the aim of Qatar by organizing this conference ITSC-2018 was to inform the world about the efforts exerted by the State in providing road safety.

“It also aims to learn about the experiences and efforts of other countries in this field and to benefit from these experiences in the development and improvement of work as well as the acquisition of expertise of the rest of the world and to find out the latest technologies used in road engineering,” Al Malki added.

Source: The Peninsula Qatar