Cairo: Kuwait, a country of around 4.6 million people, has registered 431,000 traffic violations in the past 10 months amid rising calls in the country to mete out tougher penalties against road offenders.
Recent statistics from the Kuwaiti Ministry of Justice disclosed that 431,000 traffic infringements have been registered over the first 10 months of this year, i.e. more than 1,400 violations per day on average, reported Al Qabas newspaper.
Some 165 deaths resulted from traffic accidents during the same period, the report said.
Cases heard by traffic courts in Kuwait amounted to 15,556 from January until the end of October of this year.
The total fines linked to traffic cases brought to courts have hit around KD250,000 (Dh2.96 million) while related imprisonment sentences have reached 138 rulings, including 37 in Kuwait City followed by 29 in Al Ahmadi governorate.
The paper quoted legal sources as warning against a spike in traffic victims in the country, attributing the situation to flouting traffic codes, and a lack of deterrent penalties.
“Adopting a new traffic law has become a necessary request. It should see the light of the day to bring traffic chaos under control, curb violations and penalise reckless drivers and law breakers,” they added.
Kuwaiti authorities have recently tightened measures for issuing driving licences and deporting expatriate offenders.
More than 18,000 expatriates had been deported from Kuwait in six months due to different violations, including traffic infringements, a Kuwaiti official disclosed in September.
Chief of Traffic Awareness Department Brig. Nawaf Al Hayan said 18,486 had been deported from March to August, adding that the deportees included hundreds of traffic violators.
He told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai that these infringements included high speed, driving past the red traffic signal, involvement in a road race, illegal transportation of passengers, driving in the opposite direction or without a licence.
Kuwaiti authorities withdrew driving licences from 34,751 expatriates for being ineligible to hold them during the January-August period, according to the official, who did not say if those foreigners were among the deportees.
Earlier this year, the Interior Ministry alerted foreigners, who make up around 3.2 million of Kuwait’s overall population, to clear all their outstanding traffic fines before leaving the country.