Ian Edelman in Doha

Expat exploits in Qatar

A little bump on the road

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I managed just three years and four accident-free months on the roads of Doha. But last week, on the way home from work, a large old 4×4 (not a Landcruiser I should say) clipped the drivers side doors while we were both on the Al Rumailah roundabout. I ought to point out that I was not at fault – I have a witness who will support this assertion!

In circumstances like this, both cars are legally obliged to stop, however the other driver decided to rapidly speed off. We didn’t get his number, or more precisely we sort of had a set of numbers but they might not necessarily have been in the correct order or perhaps even the right numbers as it all happened so fast. Unfortunately the first time my car-cam was required, the number plate in the video is unclear. Watch for the bump!

We reported the accident by phone straight away. I was told to go to the Traffic Department at Madinat Al Khalifa. It’s the building next to the one where you register your car.

I picked my number 392. A guy came up to me and gave me his ticket 390 as he couldn’t wait any longer. The screen showed they were up to 384 so not too long to wait. As I waited and watched as drivers went to the counter and completed the process, I noticed that the police officer would occasionally accompany the driver out of the office. I asked what was happening, and apparently they need to see the damage to the vehicle. My car was not parked closeby, as I had thought I was going to the main traffic building. So I rushed off to move the car to the car park outside the building. When I got back ticket number 393 had been called, so I picked a new number – 409.

My turn came around, and I explained the details of the incident to the traffic officer.
As I could not identify the other vehicle, I was told to come back the following morning to see if the accident had been reported by anyone else.

So this morning I went off again, this time parking in the correct car park. No numbers needed this time, and in a couple of minutes I saw a different officer. I explained the collision and showed him the video. He watched the short clip of the accident, and identified the car as a Chevrolet.

He asked where the car was. I told him it was outside the building in the car park. “Please get a photo of the damage”, he said. Below you can see the same image I showed him.


Not a huge amount of damage, but nonetheless annoying and inconvenient.

He gave me a document and said that I should return in one week, during which time they will see if they can identify the other car… very unlikely, but then, hopefully I will have the correct form to take to my insurer to authorise the repairs.

So back seven days later and I was given the documents for my insurance company. The papers are in Arabic so I have no idea what they say. I went to the insurance company, who filled in more paperwork, made copies of my ID, driving licence and car registration, photographed the damage and gave me the documents for the car repairer. I will only have to pay the 20% excess.

So on Wednesday, I will head off to the Industrial Area to book the car in to have the dents removed and the doors resprayed… and that will be another story for you.





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