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Sun 9 Jun 2013 04:41 PM

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Kuwait deports total of 12,000 expats for traffic violations

Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali reveals extent of crackdown on traffic offences in Gulf state

Kuwait deports total of 12,000 expats for traffic violations
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Nearly 12,000 foreigners have been deported from Kuwait for traffic violations in the past two-and-a-half years, the country’s traffic chief has revealed.

Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali said the crackdown on traffic offences, which has been ramped up in the past month, would continue for the foreseeable future.

“Deportation of violating expatriates is not going to stop, especially of those carrying passengers illegally, in which case a person would be in violation of traffic and labour regulations,” Maj Gen Al-Ali, the Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs, told Arabic daily Al-Rai.

More expatriates, who make up about two-thirds of the population, also would have their driver’s licences suspended in the near future, with plans to file cases in the traffic court against those with at least KD80 ($280) worth of unpaid fines.

Al-Ali said 11,800 people had been exported since he moved into his role, while 3000 vehicles had been impounded.

At least KD24m worth of fines had been issued. Only KD4m had been paid, with KD6m registered against individual expatriates, KD2m against nationals and KD16m against companies and state departments.

Al-Ali made headlines last month when he defended the deportations by comparing running a red light to premeditated or attempted murder and saying that using a private vehicle as a taxi violated labour and residency laws, while driving without a licence was equal to working without a permit.

He claims the deportations have only been for serious repeat offenders but the Kuwait Labour Union argues they are illegal and a violation of human rights.

“Our procedures are necessary to save lives, with average statistics indicating that 450 people are killed and 3,000 are injured annually due to traffic accidents,” Al-Ali said.

During an interview with Al Watan TV, Al-Ali said he had not been discriminatory.

“There have been doctors among the people deported, including a surgeon caught driving without a license for three years,” he said.

Authorities also had impounded a vehicle owned by Minister of Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah after repeated violations by his personal driver.

zulfiqar 6 years ago

Dear Editor,

Please correct the news - its almost 12,000 deported in two and half months and not two and half years.

Please refer to the following Kuwait Times Newspaper link for correction:

Sinimar 6 years ago

Well, history repeats its self, prior to 1990 Kuwait did exactly the same thing, deporting people for traffic violations. Now they are doing it again, this is a reminder to people that there are more humane countries to work and live in. Plenty of jobs outside Kuwait, leave them and see if they can change a broken light bulb in their homes.........

Ahmad 6 years ago

What do they do with the Kuwaiti offenders???

Anon 6 years ago

If GCC nationals were also included the entire indigenous population would be gone along with the expats.

ahmed 6 years ago

this is too much and unfair,all expats should leave kuwait and let kuwaitis show us how they function

Ponzo 6 years ago

Actually it looks Kuwait Times had to correct their news story to read as two and half years (not months). Still, wrongful execution of a noble goal, if the goal were indeed to reduce accidents!

Chris 6 years ago

Having lived and worked and driven in Kuwait, I would be deporting the locals who have little road sense and definitely no road manners. I remember the old joke, what is the shortest measurable distance known by man? It is the time between when the traffic lights in Kuwait turn green and the local in the car behind blasts his car horn!!

Mark El Zorro 6 years ago

They will start Deporting themselves then !!!!!!!!!

Hisham 6 years ago

First of all, that is not a measurement of distance, but time, which to my humble knowledge both have a very different standard of measurement. Second, they are Kuwaitis, nationals of a sovereign nation, not "locals" as everybody seems to have been watered down to in the Gulf according to Brits and their likes...

Obaid 6 years ago

Its time the UAE starts deporting those resident guests who still think they are driving in Karachi or Mumbai, the UAE roads will be much safer and civilized.