Posted on December 08, 2015

One thousand four hundred students in Qatar have benefited from one-to-one coaching about road safety at their school this year as part of Students for Road Safety - a programme initiated by Maersk Oil Qatar and the Traffic Department at the Ministry of Interior to raise awareness and change hazardous behaviours on Qatar’s roads. The figures represent the programme’s most successful year to date working largely with independent Qatari schools.

Students for Road Safety targets students aged 12 to 18 with a mix of interactive presentations and coaching by advanced trainers in an immersive driving simulator, designed to imitate Qatar’s roads and local driving behaviours. It was launched in 2013 by programme owners Maersk Oil Qatar and the Ministry of Interior as part of the national ONE SECOND road safety initiative. 

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Brigadier Mohamed Saad Al Kharji, Director-General of the Traffic Department said: “By working together we can improve the behaviour on Qatar’s roads and reduce the number of injuries and deaths. Students for Road Safety is in keeping with Qatar’s National Road Safety Strategy which the Ministry of Interior launched in 2013 to make our roads safer. We congratulate everyone involved in the programme to date, particularly Maersk Oil Qatar for its long term commitment to meaningful schemes like Students for Road Safety.”

The school visits by Students for Road Safety are in addition to its support of community and traffic events to increase its impact on seeding behavior change. For example, the Students for Road Safety programme will be an integral part of the Darb El Saai National Day celebrations in the coming weeks. Sheikh Faisal bin Fahad Al-Thani, Deputy Managing Director of Maersk Oil Qatar, said: “Students for Road Safety is a fantastic, grassroots example of Maersk Oil’s commitment to bring lasting benefits to Qatar over many generations. The road safety simulator that is used in schools by the programme to encourage positive behavior is locally made for local conditions and has benefited many students at schools across Qatar in 2015.”

In the past year, more than 1,400 students at schools across Qatar benefited from Students for Road Safety programme. The programme has visited 14 schools in 2015, including Al Yarmouk Independent School, Qatar Independent Technical School, Ahmed Bin Mohammad Military College and Newton International School. Mohammad Taymour Academic Vice President at Al Yarmouk Preparatory School said: “The visit to our school by Students for Road Safety has changed the way our students, and teachers, view the issue of road safety. Being able to sit in the simulator with expert guidance and see the effect of bad behaviours was a stark reminder of how we all have a responsibility to each other to show care while driving.”

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The driving simulator used in the Students for Road Safety programme features innovative technology including a full real car cockpit, an advanced display system with wrap around screen and an artificial intelligence engine that reflects common behaviours on Qatar’s roads like tail-gating, failure to indicate, flashing lights and cutting across cars at roundabouts. The Students for Road Safety Simulator utilises technologies originally used in the aviation and Formula 1 industries.

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