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In the first such study in Qatar, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) suggests that installing speed cameras in the growing capital has dramatically brought down the number of fatal car accidents and injuries.
The research, which was published in Injury Prevention, looked at the number of fatal car accidents from 2000 to 2010. They found a dramatic decrease in motor vehicles accidents after 2007. This was the year when the majority of the speed cameras were installed across the streets of Doha. Traffic death rates dropped from 26 per 100,000 down to 15 per 100,000 after 2007.
This is still much higher than averages in Western Europe and the Untied States, which range from 5 to 10 per 100,000. Until 2007, nearly two-thirds of all trauma-related deaths in Qatar were caused by car accidents with three quarters of the victims being under the age of 50.
The study also found that, while non-fatal severe injuries also decreased, mild injuries actually increased after the installment of the speed cameras.
“Our study shows that the traffic enforcement measures such as speed cameras have helped improve the safety of our roads in Qatar, but more measures are needed to continue to enhance road safety because there is room for improvement,” said Ravinder Mamtani, associate dean for global and public health at WCMC-Q and one of the authors of the study.