Road Accidents Claim More Than 8,000 Lives in GCC Annually


Dr Hashim Madni said yesterday that aside from the loss of lives, the accidents were also a curb on the economy of the region as the property loss accounts for 1.5 per cent of the combined gross domestic product of the GCC member states.

Madni was speaking at a symposium on the national strategy to improve the road safety situation in the country and elsewhere in the region. The talk was held as part of the GCC Traffic Week.

According to the expert, the UAE alone suffers losses to the tune of an incredible $ 1.5bn a year due to the road mishaps.

In Saudi Arabia, a third of the hospital beds are occupied by those injured in road accidents at any given time.

The rate of traffic accident-related deaths in the GCC is the highest in the world. Some 23 persons out of a 100,000 die on the roads in mishaps every year. The rate is quite low when compared to advanced countries, he said.

Brigadier Mohamed Abdullah Al Malki, senior official from the Department of Traffic and Patrol Police and safety planning strategist, in his presentation stressed the need for some effective steps to be taken to check the rate of road accidents in Qatar.

The Traffic Department should open more branches all over the country and patrolling of the roads and highways should be made more vigilant. The driving schools should be developed and not car owners but those driving a car which meets an accident should be punished.

Earlier, citing statistics he said the population in the country had increased from 370,000 in 1986 to 796,000 in 2006. This has also added to the number of road accidents.

There is prosperity now, so people are buying more cars. One family hires two to three drivers. The population of vehicles has increased considerably, as a result, said Al Malki.

The death toll in road accidents was 98 in 1981 with the figure soaring to 270 last year. "We need to take effective steps to curb the rate of accidents," he emphasised.

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