1,554 juveniles referred to prosecution for unlicensed driving: reports

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New traffic law to introduce harsher penalties for unlicensed juvenile drivers

Brigadier General Nawaf Al-Hayyan and Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Abu Al-Hassan from the Traffic Department participate in the discussion session.

KUWAIT CITY, June 12: The General Traffic Department has raised alarms about the alarming number of juvenile drivers caught without licenses last year. Brigadier General Nawaf Al Hayyan, Director of the Traffic Awareness Department, revealed that 1,554 juveniles were referred to Juvenile Prosecution for driving without a license, with a staggering 25,953 tickets issued for license-related violations. Al Hayyan emphasized the crucial role of parents in preventing underage driving to ensure the safety of both their children and other road users, as reported by Al-Anba newspaper.

Speaking at a panel discussion organized by the Retired Officers Association titled “The Effects of Traffic Violations on Juveniles,” Brigadier General Al-Hayyan disclosed efforts to make traffic awareness education compulsory for twelfth-grade students. Currently optional, this subject is part of broader coordination with the Ministry of Education to develop a comprehensive curriculum.

Brigadier General Al-Hayyan also indicated that the upcoming traffic law would introduce harsher penalties for violators, including the home confiscation of vehicles instead of impounding them. This new measure aims to curb reckless driving, especially by vehicles lacking proper registration and often involved in dangerous activities.

During the panel, Al-Hayyan presented video clips of severe traffic accidents and shared statistics, noting 16,120 violations for reckless driving and 74,870 recorded traffic accidents. He underscored the Ministry of Interior’s commitment to preventing juveniles from driving and holding guardians legally accountable for allowing their children access to vehicles.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Abu Al-Hassan, head of the Traffic Awareness Department, stressed the significant dangers juveniles pose when driving without licenses, not only to themselves but also to other road users. He recounted an incident involving a 14-year-old boy driving from Sabah Al-Ahmad to Hawalli with his sisters, highlighting the critical need for parental vigilance.

Abu Al-Hassan emphasized that public safety outweighs any penalties or fines, and continuous awareness campaigns are conducted in schools and universities to educate young people about the hazards of driving without a license and other traffic violations, such as using phones while driving, running red lights, and speeding.

Traffic specialist Sultan Musaed Al-Jazzaf discussed the wide-ranging impacts of traffic violations on juveniles, including family, health, psychological, financial, and academic repercussions, as well as interactions with law enforcement and the legal system. He called for addressing the root causes of these issues.

Abdullah Al-Radwan, head of social affairs, reiterated that the home is the primary source of awareness and responsibility. He warned that both the juvenile driver and the person who provided the vehicle would face accountability.

In conclusion, retired Major General Nader Shaaban, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Retired Officers Association, announced plans for further discussion sessions on the new traffic law and its implications.

The session ended with Major General Faisal Al-Jazzaf, Chairman of the Board of Directors, expressing gratitude to the participants, including Brigadier General Nawaf Al-Hayyan, Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Abu Hassan, and Badr Al-Enezi from the Ministry of Education, for their contributions to the critical discussion on enhancing traffic safety.

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