Qatargas has launched its 2009 road safety awareness campaign at the Summer Festivities. organized by the Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, from 5 July to 15 August 2009 at the Doha Exhibition Centre.
Qatargas’ commitment to spreading road safety awareness in the country is a key part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program.
Qatargas is organising this National Campaign for Road Safety in close cooperation with the Traffic and Patrols Department at the Ministry of Interior.
The Qatargas pavillion at the Entertainment Village is already attracting a large number of visitors. Major attractions at the pavillion are a roll-over simulator and a seat-belt convincer.
“This is the fifth consecutive year we are organising this national campaign and it is one of the key activities within our corporate social responsibility program. We want to be actively involved in our community and support initiatives that are aimed at accomplishing the general well-being and welfare,” says Mr. Ghanim Al Kuwari, Qatargas Chief Operating Officer – Administration.
Each year approximately 1.3 million deaths occur on the world’s roads, a toll comparable to malaria and tuberculosis in fatalities alone. Yet the burden of unsafe roads is far greater; severe disabling injuries affect an additional 20 to 50 million people each yearTragically, children are often the victims with road traffic fatalities being the number one killer of children aged 10-24, and 96 per cent of these children are dying on roads in developing nations. The trend is predicted to continue and to accelerate, fueled by the rapid motorization that accompanies development. Road traffic crashes consume 1-2 per cent of GNP for most countries. The World Health Organization estimates annual worldwide economic costs at USD $518 billion - a total that equals or exceeds annual bilateral overseas aid.
Road safety in Qatar is a hotly debated issue. According to the state’s Ministry of Interior, Qatar has one of the highest number of road traffic accidents. The country’s Traffic and Patrols Department chief has stated in May this year that so far some 70 people have died in road accidents. According to Global Status Report on Road Safety, released recently by the World Health Organisation (WHO), 23.7 people were killed on roads in Qatar for every 100,000 people in 2007.
Visitors to the Qatargas pavillion at the exhibition centre are seen rushing to get in a real-size Volvo Mini car, securely attached to the simulator, and experience for themselves the benefit of wearing a seat-belt. Many of them are also seen trying the seat-belt convincer which demonstrates to them how seat-belts prevent motorists from being thrown out of their vehicles in case of serious accidents.
One of the visitors to the pavillion, Tariq Mohammed from Jordan said he was impressed by the way the campaign was organised by Qatargas and the company’s commitment to educating the public on the significance of adhering to safety rules while using roads.
Another visitor, Sheila Mohan from India said she got some new insights on using seat-belts after visiting the Qatargas pavillion. “My concept of using seat initially was that it’s just mandatory by law and there is not much it can do in case of accidents. However, my own trials at the roll-over simulator and the seat-belt convincer have effectively proved to me that seat-belts are really life-savers. I’ve now made up my mind sensibly to use the seat-belt even for a short trip,” she said.
The messages given to the public at the roll-over simulator are very clear: always wear your seatbelt; wearing a seatbelt has the greatest effect on reducing the chance of a fatality as an ejected occupant is 4 times more likely to be killed.
At the seat-belt convincer, motorists were warned that the difference between the belted persons’ stopping distance and the unbelted person’s stopping difference is significant, and often the difference between life and death.
In addition, visitors to the pavillion are shown educational films on the dangers of speeding and inattentive driving. They were given Arabic and English brochures, titled the National Campaign for Road Safety and which explain in detail child safety rules, road manners, road distraction, car care techniques, and instructions for sharing the road.
You can read more road safety tips by downloading our brochure…
This year’s summer festival is held under one roof as opposed to the practice of holding it in various shopping malls during the past years. The main activity of the festival is an Entertainment Village at the Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority’s Doha Exhibition Centre.
With a large selection of rides, games and shopping stalls, there is certainly plenty to entertain visitors and judging by the response from local residents, this year’s event is proving to be a success with the county’s youth.
Throughout the festival days, some 10,000 people will be offered free entrance to the exhibition thanks to Qatargas. All visitors to the QG pavillion are allowed to use the safety games free of cost from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Qatargas is has been organizing road safety campaigns for the past five years. Over the past four years, the campaign has been organised as an independent event involving lots of awareness initiatives such as newspaper advertisements, radio and TV commercials, and many other events. This year it is being held as part of the summer festival which is the right venue for ensuring a much bigger participation from the public.
So far, the previous campaigns have won Qatargas three international awards including the MENA Cristal Awards 2008-2009, held in Beirut, Lebanon, with the two other awards from Cannes and Tunis.
At Qatargas, safety is at the core of the company’s values. The company has launched several safety initiatives aimed at ensuring workplace safety. One of such campaign is titled: “Incident and Injury Free is up to me”
Please click here to know more about Qatargas safety initiatives.