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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Traffic Cops Getting Harder

It seems like the traffic police are getting harder in Qatar.

I've seen police walk up to stationary cars and give the drivers tickets for not wearing seatbelts.

And last night I saw the traffic police at work at a busy intersection.

Congestion often causes frustation amongst Qatar drivers.

As usual in Qatar, when the lights turned green, motorists pushed forward, regardless of whether their exit was clear. If any dared remain still, they were angrily hooted by the cars behind them until they move forward.

The result, as usual, was a snarled interchange - a common sight in Qatar, as we show in the short movie below.

Except this time the police were ready, circling round the cars and handing out tickets.

Is it working?

"Ameena's had to pay a ticket for speeding," her friends told me. "QAR6000 (over $1600) for shooting a red light."

"Actually it was QAR7000," Ameena admitted. "Because I was also talking on my mobile phone and I wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

"But I am much better now," she continued. "I drive more slowly, I wear a seatbelt, and I stop when the light is amber, not red."

It seems that with some people at least, the new, harsher traffic laws are making a difference.

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