Manama: Kuwait said that it would deport any foreigner caught for a second time not wearing the seat belt or using a cell phone while driving.
“Article 207 of Traffic Law allows the impounding of vehicles while other articles give the interior minister the right to deport those who do not comply with public order and break the laws,” Brigadier Adel Al Hasshash, the head of public relations and security media, told a Kuwaiti television station.
But a legal expert has warned against the move.
“We have to be cautious about deporting foreigners for not wearing seat belts,” Mudawas Al Rashidi, professor international law at the University of Kuwait, said.
“We need to think whether other countries could take similar stances and threaten Kuwaitis, especially students, with deportation if they are caught breaking traffic laws abroad,” he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah on Thursday.
Kuwait has recently stiffened penalties against traffic violations including impounding cars for months if motorists are caught not wearing seat belts, using their cell phones or parking in prohibited areas.
Authorities began impounding cars last week. Since then, Kuwaiti nationals and expatriates have taken to social media to complain about the measures saying they were unfair.
Kuwaiti MP Riyadh Al Adsani has threatened to grill the interior minister over the new measures arguing that such rules need to be applied gradually over the time.
Other lawmakers have questioned the constitutionality of the new decision.