KUWAIT: It is summer and the roads are largely empty in many areas in Kuwait since many people are on vacation, so the tendency for some drivers is to speed up their cars as if they are flying an airplane. In fact, the traffic department reports that over 8,327 traffic citations were issued and 357 vehicles detained just over the past weekend. Traffic department sources detailed how 1,324 tickets had been filed and 9 vehicles were detained in the capital governorate.
There were 930 tickets and 30 vehicles detained in Farwaniya, 2,743 tickets were filed and 100 vehicles held in Hawalli, 1,243 tickets were filed and 4 vehicles detained in Ahmadi, 461 tickets were filed and 12 vehicles detained in Mubarak Al-Kabeer and 930 tickets were filed and 70 vehicles detained in Jahra.
But just a quick reminder to expatriates. If you are driving wildly on Kuwaiti streets it might well end your residency here. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) is seriously considering how it might bring deportation penalty proceedings against expatriates who violate state regulations and laws. Further, the MoI will implement deportation proceedings against anyone stopped for driving through red traffic lights or those who are caught driving faster than 180 kph. “Given the traffic violations which endangered our lives on the streets, I think it’s about time to reconsider the law,” said a source from the traffic department, who spoke anonymously with the Kuwait Times.
But not many are in favor of the plan. “We have lots of laws and unfortunately those laws are created for expats. The real law breakers are mostly Kuwaitis who can easily evade laws and get away with violations instantly,” a Kuwaiti female government employee told the Kuwait Times. “If you are talking about safety, enforcement must be in the interest of the entire population, not just for the expats alone,” she explained.
Also, there are expats who do not believe that certain laws will be implemented. “I think it’s only a scare tactic by the MoI,” suggested an Indian driver. “Maybe there are first and second offense warning before they could implement deportation. It’s a harsh law if implemented. What about law-breaking Kuwaitis, what penalties awaits them?” he asked. Some drivers don’t mind implementing new traffic regulations. “I follow the traffic rules, so why should I be scared? I drive according to the speed limit…my advice for everyone is to just follow, why jump to debate or challenge their authority, they have the right to control or implement a law they think is good or necessary for their own country,” a Filipino expat commented.
Based on studies abroad, traffic cameras significantly help reduce traffic accidents on many streets as drivers are now more than aware that how they drive affects them. The MoI has also introduced higher penalties [KD50] for driving through red lights in Kuwait, and [KD30] for disregarding yellow lights. Also, illegal parking is now up from KD5 to 10.
Besides beating red lights, expatriates in Kuwait could also be deported if they are caught selling illegal merchandise, for working for others than their sponsors, for holding expired residency or work permits or expired health certificates, those committing commercial fraud, those who don’t pay various state overdues and those who evade court verdicts. Kuwait Times sources added that a special committee made up of representatives from the ministries of interior, health, commerce and industry, and the Kuwait Municipality, is to be formed to follow up on the execution of immediate deportations for those expats who have received certain citations and violations.