Senior officials from the General Directorate of Traffic yesterday made a passionate plea to the residents for making the country’s roads safer and secure at a meeting held to mark the World Day of Remembrance (WDR) for road traffic accident victims.
The meeting under the slogan ‘Roads have stories’ was held at the headquarters of the General Directorate of Traffic.
Officials from the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Transport and Communications and Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center at the Qatar University also attended the proceedings.
Director General of Traffic and vice chairman of the NTSC Major General Mohamed Saad al-Kharji said the dangers caused by road accidents led the United Nations to adopt a collective international action aimed at reducing the enormity of the situation, under the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
The UN plan calls upon the states to put in place effective measures and procedures to make the roads safer and secure, he said.
The UN General Assembly has called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to monitor the progress of the campaign through a series of global road safety reports and highlighted the necessity of continuous efforts to achieving the goal of reducing deaths and injuries caused in road accidents by 50% from the existing levels by 2020.
Mourning the loss of numerous lives in road accidents across the world, al-Kharji also reminded the audience of the huge spending incurred on the treatment of those injured in such accidents.
The top official also remembered the praiseworthy efforts of the personnel of such departments as police, ambulance, civil defence who lost their lives while on duty to prevent the recurrence of accidents.
Director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health Dr Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani explained how Qatar is paying great attention to providing safety for all road users.
The National Strategy for Traffic Safety has been launched and all governmental and non-governmental departments participated in their efforts to reducing road accident mortality rate in 2017 by nearly 75% lower than what it was in 2006.
Dr Mohamed al-Thani also recalled the initiatives of the Ministry of Public Health and said it has paid remarkably good attention to traffic safety, ambulance services, emergency response to accidents among other activities.
“Each of this has contributed to save lives and provide excellent services with workable accident preventive plans,” he said.
Assistant undersecretary for Land Transport at Ministry of Transport and Communications Rashid Taleb al-Nabit said traffic accidents are transcontinental and are increasing as each day passes despite good efforts made by several countries to bring down their numbers.
He said the WHO figures indicate that nearly 5mn people could be saved from road accidents during the period 2011-2020 by launching effective steps and programmes for improving road safety.
Al-Nabit said the number of road accident deaths is estimated at nearly 3,400 a day and more than 1.25mn a year worldwide.
Non-fatal injuries are ranging anywhere between 20mn and 50mn a year. Based on these statistics, traffic accidents are the main cause of deaths of people in the age group 15-29.