Drive to raise awareness about rights and duties of pedestrians
July 22 2019 12:53 AM
MoI officials and representatives of various communities and companies attending the seminar yesterday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam and supplied

The General Directorate of Traffic will conduct an awareness drive in order to make pedestrians aware of their rights and responsibilities, with the aim of preventing traffic violations on country’s roads.
The campaign will be carried out by the directorate in co-operation with the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior (MoI), and will also involve the expatriate communities, companies and media, according to officials.
Capt Abdul Wahid al-Anzi, of the Traffic Awareness Section, explained the details of the pedestrian awareness drive and said the initiative is aimed at educating pedestrians, especially members of Asian communities. It will be carried out in various languages, including Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Nepali and Malayalam
The campaign will involve the local media as well as social media, and will also feature field awareness activities and seminars. 
The details of the pedestrian safety initiative were announced at a seminar organised yesterday by the General Directorate of Traffic, represented by the Traffic Awareness Department, in co-operation with the MoI’s Public Relations Department.
Among those present were Col Nasser Darman al-Hajeri, assistant director-general of Traffic, and Lt Col Jaber Mohamed Odeiba, assistant director of the Traffic Awareness Department.
Lt Col Odeiba said the ministry, represented by the General Directorate of Traffic, is keen to organise such awareness-raising seminars on the ways and means of achieving safety on roads. This stems from the patronage of the State of Qatar and its concern for the safety of all those living on this land, including citizens and residents, he stressed.
“Given the same, this symposium is being held to clarify the rights and responsibilities of pedestrians, who represent a large proportion of road users that may exceed the number of drivers,” Lt Col Odeiba observed. 
First Lt Abdul Rahman al-Aawi, of the Traffic Studies and Research Department, said despite a decline in pedestrian accidents in 2018, there are a number of recommendations that must be taken into account to achieve the objective of reducing pedestrian accidents by 2022. 
“These include the need for more pedestrian crossings as well as the need to construct traffic barriers and guardrails on the median of main streets and highways, and to prevent pedestrians from crossing the road through undesignated areas,” he explained. 
He also highlighted recommendations pertaining to the planning of footpaths, placement of signals at intersections as well as ground reflectors, increasing the width of sidewalks on roads with a large number of pedestrians, and putting iron barriers in places other than those designated for pedestrian crossing.
Further, he stressed the importance of increasing co-operation among the stakeholders in order to spread traffic awareness and place signboards in crossing areas to remind pedestrians that improper crossing habits entail traffic violations.
Lt Majid Ali al-Khulaifi from the Traffic Patrols and Investigation Department at the directorate, spoke about the duties traffic patrols have towards pedestrians and the correct rules that pedestrians must follow when crossing the road. 
He said patrols are responsible for controlling the road. There is a set of controls in place at a crossing, including using crosswalks, pedestrian bridges or traffic signals at intersections.
“Not considering the speed of and distance from an oncoming vehicle poses a grave risk to the safety of pedestrians,” he said, noting that metal guardrails placed along the median of roads are meant to protect and save the lives of pedestrians.

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