Motor vehicle injuries in Qatar: time trends in a rapidly developing Middle Eastern nation
- Ravinder Mamtani1,
- Mohammed H Al-Thani2,
- Al-Anoud Mohammed Al-Thani2,
- Javaid I Sheikh3,
- Albert B Lowenfels4
- 1Department of Global and Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar
- 2Department of Public Health, Supreme Council of Health, Qatar
- 3Office of the Dean, Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar
- 4Department of Surgery, New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, USA
- Correspondence to Professor Ravinder Mamtani, Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean, Global and Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, Education City, PO Box 24144, Doha, Qatar;
- Accepted 15 September 2011
- Published Online First 12 October 2011
Despite their wealth and modern road systems, traffic injury rates in Middle Eastern countries are generally higher than those in Western countries. The authors examined traffic injuries in Qatar during 2000–2010, a period of rapid population growth, focusing on the impact of speed control cameras installed in 2007 on overall injury rates and mortality. During the period 2000–2006, prior to camera installation, the mean (SD) vehicular injury death rate per 100 000 was 19.9±4.1. From 2007 to 2010, the mean (SD) vehicular death rates were significantly lower: 14.7±1.5 (p=0.028). Non-fatal severe injury rates also declined, but mild injury rates increased, perhaps because of increased traffic congestion and improved notification. It is possible that speed cameras decreased speeding enough to affect the death rate, without affecting overall injury rates. These data suggest that in a rapidly growing Middle Eastern country, photo enforcement (speed) cameras can be an important component of traffic control, but other measures will be required for maximum impact.
- traffic injuries
- speed cameras
- public health
- motor vehicle
- occupational injury
- behaviour change
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board of Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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