Reckless driving: Kuwait pledges zero tolerance

January 5, 2010

Kuwait’s traffic police is waging a war with reckless and irresponsible drivers, the interior minister said, pledging a zero-tolerance towards all those who break the laws.

“We are shocked by the attitudes of some youngsters who break the law, disregard ethics and manners and are reckless about the safety of other people. We have noted with great regret the growing phenomenon of underage drivers behind the wheels of all types of cars engaged in reckless and irresponsible attitudes but with the blessing of the parents,” Shaikh Jaber Al Khalid was quoted by Al Qabas daily.

“Families have to assume their responsibilities in educating their sons and daughters about the importance of abiding by driving rules and regulations and respecting other drivers. There are hundreds of traffic violations because those who are sure that they will not be punished will keep on breaking the law,” he said.

The minister said that 45 teenagers, aged between 15 and 17, had been arrested for underage and reckless driving and vowed that that he would not tolerate any intervention on their behalf to pardon them.

“We will be very strict in applying the law with them so that they can serve as an example to others. I will not allow anyone to interfere on their behalf,” he said, referring to the use of “wasta”, intermediaries who use their positions to help reduce fines or sentences or secure that culprits walk out freely.

Shaikh Jaber warned that the tendency to break the laws and to disregard traditions is dangerously gaining ground in Kuwait and called for increasing awareness campaign to limit the phenomenon and eventually contain its negative effects on social behaviour.

Last month, Bahrain’s traffic police arrested 14 young men for high-speed street races and charged them with illegal racing, reckless driving, endangering other people’s lives, speeding and obscuring licence plate numbers.

The police seized 144 cars during the swoop on the illegal race meeting and recorded 272 serious violations.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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