Mohammad Saad Al Kharji Image Credit: Al Sharq

Manama: Qatar is planning to have a helicopter overfly areas of high traffic volume in the morning and direct land patrols to ease woes.

“We will have the helicopter between six and eight in the morning to check traffic flow in the capital Doha,” Mohammad Saad Al Kharji, the head of traffic, said. “The officer in the helicopter will liaise with the patrols and inform them about the status of traffic in the various areas and thus help them move in quickly to address congestions,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Sharq on Thursday.

Other initiatives planned to ease growing traffic problems in Doha include installing radars to make sure that minimum speed limits are respected.

“The radars will catch the drivers who stall traffic by moving slowly, at a speed that is lower than the minimum needed to use specific highways,” he said.

All the roundabouts that dotted the famous landmark of the seafront Corniche will be removed by next month and replaced with traffic light signals, Al Kharji added.

Roundabouts were prominent features on the roads of Gulf Arab countries, but under the onslaught of unexpectedly high number of vehicles on the roads, they are being gradually removed in several cities.

The authorities are also planning strict action against motorists overtaking on the right, in violation of the traffic rules.

“We will have radars for video and picture records. This phenomenon is dangerous and several drivers keep overtaking on the right despite the fines,” he said.

Cars with a high level of window tinting will also face legal action.

“The limit is 20 per cent, but some drivers tint their window up to 38 per cent.”

Drivers in Qatar and other GCC countries argue that window tints help reflect heat, improve comfort and reduce glare in the cars.”

“I urge all motorists to cooperate with us to overcome the traffic woes that are making Doha suffer these days,” the official said.