By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: The General Directorate of Security Relations and Media of the Ministry of Interior held a press conference on Wednesday to announce the 36th Gulf Traffic Week under the slogan “Your life is a trust”. Director General of the General Traffic Department Maj Gen Youssef Al-Khadda noted that the project to link traffic violations in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates has begun, and soon violations will be linked with the rest of the Gulf countries.
Khadda added that in 2018, the traffic department submitted a proposal to the National Assembly to amend the traffic law in line with global and Gulf updates and changes to reduce the rate of traffic violations that lead to accidents resulting in injuries and deaths. “I hope members of the National Assembly pass the law to implement a deterrent law. Since 1976, salaries have changed, but traffic tickets remain at KD 15. The deterrent penalties must be toughened and amount of fines must be increased,” he said.
On the other hand, Khadda said citizens are protected from unfair violations. “There are cameras on traffic officers’ cars that monitor not only accidents, but also the traffic police officer, and there are investigators to ensure the rights of citizens are upheld,” he added.
Maj Abdullah Bu Hasan revealed traffic statistics for 2022, which showed traffic accidents and deaths decreased in 2022 despite the increase in the number of vehicles, and this indicates awareness among drivers in Kuwait. “The total number of valid driving licenses is 1,655,408. The total number of vehicles is 2,422,223,” he said, pointing out there were a total of 4,237,454 traffic violations in 2022 and 322 deaths.
He added that in 2022, the most prominent violations were speeding violations and running red traffic lights. “There were 1,384,842 direct violations and 2,852,612 indirect. The value of the collected violations is KD 73,576,375. The total number of impounded vehicles is 5,076 and 798 bikes,” Bu Hasan said.
Regarding traffic developments, he said front, inside and rear cameras were installed in traffic patrol vehicles, recording video and audio. He said 205 surveillance cameras were installed, 161 variable message signs, 18 mobile speed cameras, 7 mobile surveillance cameras, 355 monitoring cameras and 20 P2P speed cameras were also installed.
In addition, new mechanisms have been developed, where 200 new patrol cars were added, with 800 current patrol vehicles, along with new 300 motorbikes for a total of 399. Bu Hasan said traffic violations from newly-installed sixth generation cameras from Jan 1 to Feb 27 are as follows – 3,394 seatbelt violations and 2,083 for phone usage.
The conference revealed the schedule of activities for Gulf Traffic Week, whose opening ceremony will be at Shaheed Park on March 5, those injured in traffic accidents will be visited at Razi Hospital on March 6, an exhibition will be held on March 6-10 at The Avenues mall, and traffic police officers will receive travelers on March 7 at Kuwait Airways’ T4 terminal. In addition, a lecture will be held at Kuwait University on March 8 and the closing ceremony will be on March 9 at Millennium Hotel.
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