Today’s article focuses on the recent decision adopted then retracted by the Interior Ministry over imposing of strict laws pertinent to traffic, and by which police impounded any vehicle parked on the pavement, or whose driver was caught not wearing the seat belt or using mobile phones while driving.
I do not see anything wrong with the decision as those drivers who adhere to the rules have nothing to worry about; however, those who opposed said law feel like they own the roads and must not be judged. They break the law without being punished, or end up harming themselves or pedestrians and expect to walk free from a police station. They damage the state’s properties by parking on green landscapes and pavements, and expect not to be blamed or fined.
Things have gone beyond moderation, state properties have been damaged, hundreds of lives have been lost just because many drivers pay full attention to their smart phones rather than keeping their eyes on the road, causing unwanted accidents. So many irresponsible people and drivers have specifically uttered strong opposition towards the Interior Ministry’s law, saying that impounding the vehicle is not the solution to the problem. Yet, they agree to raise the amount of the citation from KD 5 to 15 for example, although I believe that such measure alone is not enough.
How can you compare the loss of life with KD 15? In US and Europe, traffic laws are strict and apply to everyone. The people there obey the law, besides paying high taxes, because they understand the importance of life in order to maintain safety and order. I am amazed that the Interior Ministry decided to call off its decision soon after it issued it. Why? Was it made without a thorough study? Or was it because the ministry failed to launch an awareness campaign to introduce the law to the public before implementing it?
In Kuwait, we have so many strict rules and laws, but a few are strictly implemented, especially when it comes to expatriates. I can say for sure that 85 percent of reckless drivers are Kuwaitis because expatriates fear deportation and avoid breaking the law; therefore, strict fines should be imposed on all reckless drivers and laws must be respected and followed by everyone. We do not need wasta (connections) as it plays a big role in stripping someone’s right, to be given to those who do not deserve it. My suggestion to the Interior Ministry is, go ahead with your decision instead of listening to those who oppose it for personal interests.
By Talal Al-Ghannam