A record 67 people died in traffic accidents since the beginning of this year, it was revealed yesterday.

"We are very concerned as road deaths are rising every day," said Lieutenant Colonel Bakheet Al Dosari, head of the traffic awareness section at the ministry of interior.

"Statistics show that one person gets killed in a road accident every two days," he said during a seminar held to mark traffic awareness campaign.

Last year, 164 died in road accidents in Qatar, according to the data provided by the traffic department.

The rate of traffic accidents and injuries rose by 6 per cent in 2004 over the previous year, while the death toll went up by 9 per cent. Economic losses due to road accidents amount to 850 million riyals annually.

Colonel Mohammad Sa'ad Al Kharji, director of the traffic and patrol department, said the awareness campaign aims at promoting cooperation between the public and the traffic department.

The official said that several youngsters have been found driving vehicles without a driving licence.

"Some of them, especially women, are trained by their relatives."

At a glance
Statistics reveal disturbing trend

  • One hundred and sixtyfour died in road accidents in Qatar last year (32 of them were aged between 11 and 20, 45 were aged 21-30, 43 were aged 31-40).
  • Qatar's economic loss due to road accidents amounts to 850 million riyals annually.
  • About 8,000 people die in Gulf states annually.
  • About 60,000 people are injured in road accidents in the GCC countries every year.
  • About 4,000 get permanently disabled in GCC states annually.
  • Economic loss due to road accidents amounts to 3 per cent of the GDP of Gulf states.

Qatari Ministry of Interior and King Saud University