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Sun 26 May 2013 01:40 PM

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Kuwait defends deporting expats for traffic fines

More than 1,200 expats have been deported in last two months for traffic offences

Kuwait defends deporting expats for traffic fines
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Authorities in Kuwait have defended the deportation of more than 1,200 expats for traffic and speeding offences, it has been reported.

The oil-rich Gulf state has faced international criticism in recent weeks for a number of measures targeting the 1m strong expatriate community, which include plans to deport 100,000 foreign workers per year for the next decade.

One of the country’s top traffic cops has however defended the deportations, claiming that those affected were serial violators who were putting other motorists’ and pedestrians’ lives at risk.

“What hurts us the most is when a family loses its provider, when a family loses its mother, when parents lose their children and when in some cases, an entire family is lost,” assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali told Kuwait Times.

“We are determined to continue field campaigns against reckless driving and violations which result in such unfortunate events”.

Al-Ali added that reports on social media and in the press that expats were being deported for minor traffic violations were wide of the mark. “Not only are such claims unrealistic, but are refuted by field operations seeking to restore discipline on public roads,” Al-Ali said.

Since the campaign to deport expats for traffic offences started at the beginning of April, Al-Ali said that more than 75,000 traffic violations had been recorded, including 43,000 for speeding and 10,400 for jumping red lights.

“This proves how serious the operations are to address all irregularities in their various shapes and forms,” he added.

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jay 7 years ago

and what are we doing to the Kuwaiti serial offenders NOTHING
discrimination is rife here just drive the 5th ring road and see driving in the emergency lanes not by expats but Kuwaitis on thier way to work
come on treat everyone the same

jonjon 7 years ago

say what you want but this is their country, their laws, and if this is how they choose to rule no matter what your opinions are against it are you should accept it

marshal 7 years ago

I guess this is what everyone thought when Hitler rose to power in Germany or Osama and Taliban took over Afganistan. It doesn't take long for the 'hate' creature to turn its head and bite u too.

Ahmad 7 years ago

Most of the Traffic incidents are occured due to reckless drivings of the locals , not the expats. The expats are here to earn a good living and they are alos trying to avoid such incidents, except some of the minor population.The locals should also be stopped for breaking the rules. Where is the islamic justice now? Aren't we all equal in terms of Islamic society. Not only that the non muslims and muslims from all regions should be treated equally considering the humanitarian aspect.

RAH 7 years ago

Kuwaitis cannot be deported from their own country. But many have been given tickets, cars impounded and others referred to the traffic court.

The emergency lane are being used by Kuwaitis and expats a like. Open your eyes and check properly on who uses them before commenting on unequal treatment of expats.

RAH 7 years ago

Oh dear oh dear.
So you THINK the expats are the ones abiding by the laws? When was the last time you drove in Kuwait? Check out the 4th ring road. I have seen many sub-continent indian nationals speed beyond me. The limit was 80, I was doing 80 and 4 of them driving mini busses sped by me doing at least 120!!

I am EXTREMELY proud and happy with the recent crackdown by the authorities. I am respecting the laws of my own country for the good of the other users and their lives and THIS IS WHAT ISLAM TEACHES US! For those 4 expat speeders, they dont deserve to be respected once they have broken local laws and put others in possible harm's way.

RAH 7 years ago

marshal.. its plain and simple regardless of Hitler and whoever you believe was in a similar position: follow local rules and regualtions. If you dont and speed and pass a red light, then your services are no longer needed and the expat needs to leave. Many other expats would be happy to come and take over the job and tax-free salary and abide by the 120km/hr speed limit, and more than happy to step on the break when he sees a red right.

Patrick 7 years ago

I had just moved to Kuwait and I don't know where the bad driving originated from but I know that many nationalities are responsible. This means both Kuwaiti's and Expats. The driving is extremely dangerous by some people and don't think that nationality should be taken into consideration. If Kuwait wants to cut down on the Expat population and use bad driving as an excuse then that is fine (so long as the guilty party is given fair treatment) but I don't think that Kuwaiti's should be aloud to drive poorly either without a large fine to match the punishment of the Expats.

kingkaiser 7 years ago

@RAH: Actually, most people I know now require premiums to work in Kuwait, because of the unfriendly laws. It surely cant be difficult to comprehend the vast injustice between giving a Kuwaiti a fine, and deporting an expat for the exact same crime.

You're right that a Kuwaiti cant be deported, but an equal punishment would then be jail time, but I'm sure you would never agree to that.

Patrick 7 years ago

You're right about that. There really isn't an equivalent for Kuwaiti's other than big fines. I don't make the laws but we are living in their country. With that being said, I think you're right that jail time would be in order depending on the seriousness of the offence, however, I don't make the laws and I'm just trying to be realistic and suggest laws and fines that would actually be approved. I also agree that a single, minor traffic offence should not lead to deportation but that's a political or racial issue which can't really be argued with logic.

Overall, for serious traffic offenses (extreme speeding, multiple redlight offenses, recklessly weaving through traffic, etc.) I like what Kuwait is doing with deportation on top of large fines and jail time. I wish my country would start doing that instead of just administering fines. I think deporting drivers who endanger others is justified. Other expats who drive safely would love to take the jobs of dangerous expat drivers.