Wednesday March 13, 2019
Got your driving license! Really excited to steer across Qatar, right?
Just hang on; there are certain rules and regulations everyone should follow while driving in a developed country like Qatar. Make sure you know and follow them quite humbly.
Even if you hold a valid license to drive in Qatar, before you start driving, make sure you have a clear knowledge about the roads, traffic rules, regulations, and other important aspects concerning driving in Qatar.
The Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department, located on Khalifa Street, Madinat Khalifa is handling everything related to vehicle license and traffic violations stringently.
Moreover, all the roads and junctions are under CCTV surveillance. Hence, it is critical to follow their rules and guidelines to avoid any consequences regarding driving in the country.
As a matter of life and asset, the government of Qatar is pretty rigorous over the traffic rules. It has been reported that in 2017 the Qatari government has tightened its rules to get a license there.
Under these rules, those from the countries such as the UK, Europe, and Australia were also required to take a driving test to get a license.
However, later in 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced these countries along with some other like South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and more are exempted from the driver’s license test. Nevertheless, the remaining rules stay the same for all.
If you are a car owner, you have to register your vehicles, and should renew your registration annually. The driving license in this country is based on a point system.
For each traffic violation, the driver will collect points that lose the life of the driving license. Once you reach 14 points, your license will be suspended for the next three months.
However, repetitive violations can result in long term license suspension and even cancellation of license.
As usual around the world, cell phone usage is strictly prohibited while driving in Qatar. Strict laws and fines varying from QR300- QR6, 000 in Qatar are keeping the motorists from using phones while driving.
According to an official in the General Directorate of traffic in Qatar, any kind of engagement like playing mobile games, checking mobile apps or even texting message while driving will be considered a violation.
However, earlier only speaking over cell phones while driving was considered a violation. The recent statistics by the General Directorate of Traffic has highlighted that usage of mobile phones while driving has caused.
• 44.1% of minor injuries
• 52.2% serious injuries and
• 51.6% of the overall traffic accidents
Maj Muhammad bin Jassim Al-Thani, Head of traffic at South Security Department has said that after over speed, mobile phone usage is causing more traffic accidents.
Article (55) of the Traffic Law No. (19) / 2007 prohibits the use of the mobile phone or any other device while driving. Also, the law has fixed a fine of QR 500 on the phone user while they are driving.
You can pay fines for traffic violations either online or by attending MoI collection office or the Traffic Department in person through the Ministry of Interior website.
Beware of the speed cameras across the roads. The government has set the speed limit at Qatar roads as between 60-100 kilometers per hour on most city roads and the maximum speed on highways is 120 kilometers per hour.
The recent news from The Peninsula Qatar is that the Ministry of Interior has begun the mobile radar plan in certain locations such as Shamal Highway, The Pearl, Abu Hamor and more. This helps to encourage road safety by forcing motorists to follow the recommended speed limits.
On June 2018, Traffic Department officials have announced that those driving without a license will be charged with heavy fines and strict punishment.
Visitors in this country can also obtain a temporary driving license which is just valid for three months. To reduce the number of accidents, the Traffic Awareness Department has conducted a traffic awareness lecture on September 2018 at the General Directorate of Traffic.
In this lecture, the department has recommended the family as well as the schools not to allow teenagers to drive before getting a license. The department also recommended them to conduct awareness sessions for school students about safe driving.
Hope you got a clear picture of ‘how to steer around Qatar, decently’? These few tips can keep your commute safe and secure. Not just for you, but also for others.
Many of us are already aware of it. However, let’s brush up and tell to others who are not aware of any of these must-have facts. Just keep all these tips on your mind, because it is a matter of several lives and our hard earned money.
Keep driving, be safe and have a great day.