Are roads safe? Qatar witnesses rise in delivery bike accidents

Qatar has seen a rise in delivery bike accidents, but is there a way authorities can prevent such incidents from happening again?

There’s been a spike in delivery bike accidents in the last year, prompting the Qatari government to look into implementing measures to protect workers.

A workshop was held this week by The General Directorate of Traffic (GDT) to discuss ways to help reduce collisions involving delivery bikes.

Speaking to Qatar Radio, Colonel Jaber Mohamed Rashid Odaiba, Assistant Director of the Media and Traffic Awareness Department, revealed that the number of motorcycle delivery drivers treated at the Hamad Trauma Center for serious injuries in the first quarter of 2022 is already more than triple that of the same period in 2021.

“The centre has provided care to 93 cases of motorcycle delivery drivers with serious injuries in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 29 cases during the same period in 2021,” he noted.

The number of procedures to treat head injuries, fractures, and even amputations has significantly increased, he continued, according to the Trauma Anesthesia Section at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC).

The use of mobile navigation apps by bike drivers has been cited as one of the main causes of accidents, according to the Traffic Department and HMC.

Authorities have yet to introduce measures to prevent such accidents.

The cost of convenience

With the advancement of technology and widespread use of smart devices, entrepreneurs across the Gulf have jumped at the opportunity to develop apps to cater to the growing needs of consumers.

Qatar’s digital awakening has prompted fierce competition between brands, both old and new. The popularity of food delivery apps has continued to surge among locals and residents, and with it emerged an increasing demand for convenience. 

In the summer, people welcomed a decision by local authorities in Doha to ban deliveries using motorcycles during morning hours, to prevent heat exhaustion. Though it remains to be seen whether similar safeguarding measures will be made to prevent road accidents. 

Social media users suggested introducing separate motorcycle lanes, as previously suggested in a 2017 report by the World Health Organization. 

What do you think should be done? Tell us in the comments below!

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