The drop in the death and injury rates came due to a number of measures taken by the authorities concerned in the area to ensure safety, an official said.
The figures were highlighted as the directorate unveiled the results of the steps taken by the Sealine and Al Udeid Committee for the 2020-2021 camping season, which ran from mid-October last year until May 21, 2021, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday.
The results confirmed the extent of the success achieved during this season thanks to the measures and plans implemented by the General Directorate of Traffic, with the co-operation and support of all camping authorities, as well as the visitors to the Sealine area.
The statistics showed that one death was recorded in 2020-2021 compared to six deaths in the previous season. Similarly, the number of severe injuries dropped from 46 in the earlier season to 21 during 2020-2021. Also, there were fewer accidents involving severe injuries during this season - 19 - as compared to 31 in the previous season, the data revealed.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed bin Jassim al-Thani, head of Traffic at the South Security Department, explained that the decrease in the number of deaths came despite an extended camping period and more activities in the region as well as number of vehicles and visitors. On an average, 23,845 vehicles visited Sealine during each weekend, including 7,045 vehicles on Thursdays, 10,650 on Fridays and 6,150 on Saturdays.
The statistics also showed that the General Directorate of Traffic responded to 845 calls from the Sealine area during the 2020-2021 camping season, an increase of 7% compared to the 2019-2020 camping season. Those reports were related to accidents and traffic services, he added.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed explained that the decrease in the death rate and severe injuries came as a result of a number of technical measures, such as the rehabilitation of the entrance and exit at Sealine, installation of mandatory and guiding signals, closure of the area adjacent to the roundabout in the area and its use as parking lots, and the regulation of traffic at the entrance and exit, according to the QNA report.
He added that the measures also included installing phosphorous signs along the land line between Sealine and Al Udeid in co-operation with the authority concerned, in addition to making asphalt bumps at the 'chalet' roundabout on Sealine Road, co-ordinating with Qatar Petroleum to address some defects on the edges of the road, identifying entrances and exits to the camel area, and separating them from vehicles with concrete barriers.
With regard to the motorcycle area, the head of the South Traffic Department explained that circuits were activated by obliging the offices not to allow the exit of motorcycles up to 100cc, closing the entrances and exits opposite the motorcycle rental area, regulating the entrances and exits (northern and southern) in the first stage, obliging all motorcycle offices to follow traffic safety measures, closing the back doors (between rental shops and circuits) to prevent the entry of vehicles and large motorcycles, and obliging all rental offices to instal number plates.
On the other hand, the department conducted a statistical analysis of vehicle entry into Sealine and another statistical analysis of accidents and their results according to days and hours, in order to study these results and use them in the future in developing traffic plans.
With regard to legal procedures, 34 inspection campaigns were carried out at rental shops, which resulted in the closure of a number of shops. The patrols also seized desert bikes, which violated the Traffic Law and its regulations. The patrols were distributed in event areas and Sealine Road to monitor vehicles and violations, record traffic accidents and organise movement on Sealine Road, the event areas and around restaurants.
Meanwhile, an office for the registration of desert bikes was opened in the Mesaieed area.
The head of the South Traffic Department explained that a drone was used to monitor violations, record requests for vehicles, photograph engineering and technical procedures in the region, monitor gatherings and events in the Sealine and Al Udeid areas, and provide technical and control solutions to the competent authorities through drone photography.
Lieutenant-Colonel Mohamed thanked all the parties that participated with the General Directorate of Traffic, including the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar National Tourism Council, the relevant departments of the Ministry of Interior, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Red Crescent Society, Fahes and Qatar Fuel (Woqod), wishing continued co-operation to achieve the highest levels of traffic safety.