In spite of efforts exerted by the Traffic General Department and the Public Roads Authority to broaden the roads and streets, build bridges and new roads, the traffic problem continues to worsen and the victims of road accidents have increased, especially when we talk about deadly accidents which are on the rise unreasonably.
Why do we focus our attention on the concrete, asphalt and flying pebbles but do not care about the mentality of persons, the motorists, their ideas and ethics.
If the government had listened to us for at least the past 30 years, and school curricula had included lessons on ethics of road use and driving, we would have been much better now and saved tens of thousands of victims who have suffered for no reason.
A majority of road users believe their vehicles are a means for transportation or to make a living or a source of boast in front of others, without realizing that they can be a dangerous killing tool. Therefore, in recent months, the DAESH criminals have resorted to this tool to kill many people. A car is like a machine gun in the hands of a reckless driver who is not aware of its danger.
Therefore, the problem of traffic in Kuwait is a moral problem before being an issue of rules and regulations and fines. So it is difficult to explain how the number of violations of skipping the red signal, which is the most dangerous, in a small country has reached to 200,000 a year. The officials must be convinced that the problem cannot be addressed by reducing or restricting the granting of driving licenses because those who have wasta shall inevitably obtain them by hook or by crook.
In 1985, I had an exciting experience when I wanted to get a British driving license. It showed me how these people care for human life and even animals. Although I was over 40 years old and had more than 20 years of driving experience, I was treated as a beginner and I was told that they would not allow anyone to drive the vehicle on their roads if he/she was not worth the honor. I also discovered that this license is respected wherever you go in the world.
We therefore need to teach the ethics and principles of traffic in schools, after we have delivered our curricula to the forces of backwardness and extremism. Driving tests should be very strict, their results must be confidential and interference in any form should not be permitted, otherwise destruction and the tragedy of shedding innocent blood on the roads will continue.
Note: Recently, I have noticed a number of vehicles damaged during traffic accidents parked in front of police stations. This does not serve any purpose but to the contrary may be misused for some or the other reason.
In order to protect the public interest, I contacted Major-General Ibrahim Al-Tarrah, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior and talked to him about the problem. He ordered removal of such vehicles within 24 hours. I thank him for the quick response.
By Ahmad Al Sarraf