By Courtney Trenwith
Traffic department claims expats are elevating their job titles in a bid to avoid tough new criteria to apply for licence
In a further clampdown on the issuing of driver’s licences in Kuwait, the General Traffic Department has announced that employees with multi-worded titles will not be exempt from tougher criteria introduced earlier this year.
Expats must have a minimum monthly wage of KD400 ($1,418) and a university degree to qualify to apply for a driver’s licence.
The new measures were brought in last year in a bid to reduce traffic congestion, which is significant in Kuwait City, where there has been an influx of foreign workers but little new roadworks.
Applicants can be exempt from the criteria if they have a visa specifically to work as a household driver.
But some employers were fabricating employees’ job titles or adding additional words in a bid to make them appear eligible for the exemption, Kuwait Times reported.
Examples include “sales manager”, which implied the worker was required to drive daily, and managers with additional descriptions, such as financial manager or labour affairs manager.
In response, the traffic department said it would not exempt such job titles.
The crackdown follows a temporary ban on issuing new driver’s licences to expats and the deportation of more than 12,000 expats based on traffic infringements incurred in recent years.
It was reported in April that the department also was investigating an increase in fake university degrees used in driver’s licence applications.
And will Kuwaitis without a job or with no tertiary qualifications still be allowed to drive? A decision like this shows the immaturity of the authorities and the real reasons why the traffic in KW is so bad. It is not the drivers, it is the lack of enforcement of the road rules. The picture in the article is worth a thousand words for what is wrong in Kuwait.