The Ministry of Interior and Ashghal Public Works Authority are endorsing the ITS & Road Safety Forum this September, in alignment with the Qatar National Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022 (NRSS).
Set to take place in Doha from 21-23 September, the forum is a platform for the Strategy’s partners, government and transport authorities, emergency services, and solutions providers to confront and address the loss of life on Qatar’s roadways.
Traffic safety has been high on the national agenda since the National Traffic Safety Committee laid out a plan to save at least 800 lives and prevent 2,000 serious injuries within the next 10 years. This year, the 3rd Annual ITS & Road Safety Forum joins the programmes that run alongside the NRSS to offer case studies, lectures and workshops on intelligent transportation systems (ITS); policies that encourage safe driving behaviour; safe design and delivery of road and transport networks; and public awareness campaigns that inspire drivers and pedestrians to put road safety first.
A senior representative at Ashghal Public Works Authority will introduce the ITS Master Plan in the inaugural keynote. The presentation will also detail expectations and deliverables of the Master Plan, a necessity for any company planning to submit a tender for the project later this year.
Road Safety Engineer Advisor at Ashghal Public Works Authority, Fabian Marsh will also deliver a presentation on the NRSS, discussing its basis in the Safe System and what it means for Qatar.
The second keynote will feature Expert in the Office of the Minister of State for Interior Affairs, Brig. Eng. Mohamad Al Malki. As a member and General Secretary of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, Brig. Eng. Al Maliki will detail the role of the National Road Safety Strategy in reducing fatalities.
Health education is a critical aspect of both the conference and the Strategy. Injury Prevention Director at the Hamad Medical Corporation, Dr. Rafael Consunji, will confer HMC’s latest model for implementing child passenger safety. A principal focus of his presentation will be HMC’s partnership with Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organisations that work with and educate families and the public to foster cultures of child safety. Mr. Consunji will also review the programme’s progress, and discuss future plans.
The forum will draw local solutions from international models as well. Soames Job, Managing Director of Global Road Safety Solutions, and Adjunct Professor of Road Safety at the University of New South Wales, will offer international case studies from Australia, New Zealand and Europe to discuss the management of speeds, roads and roadsides for safety, and the use of seat belts.
Commenting on the NRSS, Mr. Job said, “It is wonderful to see a country seriously focused on reducing the death and suffering occurring on the roads of the country. The Qatar National Road Safety Strategy is profoundly important for achievement of better road safety. The strategy has critical implications for the improved management of speeding and pedestrian safety.”
Ian Machen, of the engineering and design firm Atkins, will draw from the firm’s experience to discuss the latest issues and trends affecting stakeholders across the region. “There are some good examples of best practices already in use across the region. We need to explore and examine these to understand how to effectively implement and drive improvements in road safety and behaviours,” Mr. Machen said.
Mr. Machen is also an advocate of public awareness, saying, “We all need to take responsibility for our actions and to be part of promoting and supporting a safe road culture. This applies whether we are drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, and no matter the organisations we represent. Fundamentally, this is about changing attitudes and behaviours. The starting point needs to be an acceptance that serious traffic accidents are currently too high and that we need to work together to improve road safety.”
For the first time, an award series will be held to honour those who add to the safety and security of our roads. Award categories at the ITS & Road Safety Awards Ceremony include Best Public Awareness Campaign; Outstanding Partnership for Road Safety Improvement; Best Engineering Innovation; Best Youth Engagement Programme; Excellence in Traffic Law Enforcement; and Most Innovative ITS Implementation.
The closing deadline for nominations is August 10, 2014.
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