KUWAIT CITY, Jan 30: The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent measures and procedures taken by the government to prevent and limit its spread, including the imposition of total and partial lock down lasting 161 days and the complete isolation of some areas, led to a decline in the number of traffic citations registered in the year 2020. Director of the Violations Investigation Department at the General Traffic Department Brigadier Mohammad Al-Otaibi revealed that the number of violations that were recorded in 2020 was 2,993,510, which was 1,175,200 violations less than the number of violations recorded in 2019 which was 4,168,710.
He explained that the General Traffic Department referred a large number of violations to the Traffic Court, and many of the violators were convicted and imprisoned. However, their criminal record will affect them when they apply for a government job, as it is a sentence of imprisonment. An expatriate who commits more than one serious violation or two-three offenses shall be deported from the country. The grave offenses that result in deportation include driving a vehicle without driver’s license, and illegally transporting passengers. If the violator is a Gulf national, the vehicle will be impounded and he will be sent back to his country. Brigadier Al-Otaibi revealed that the number of expatriates deported last year for grave traffic violations reached 35, and in 2019, it was 61.
Regarding the mechanism for dealing with grave violations, he said, “The adjudication in this case is for the judiciary, as there are rulings issued against violators. The highest percentage (about 90 percent) among those referred to the court are young people of ages between 18 and 20. The courts may decide on imprisonment for a week, two weeks or a month. Prison sentences are recorded in the person’s file and affect him when he applies for an important and sensitive job and the employment process.
It would even affect him socially, as a sentence of imprisonment would be recorded against him. “Grave violations that are referred to the judiciary include reckless driving, and holding car races on public roads. Usually the violator is not referred to the court the first time but the vehicle is impounded for a maximum of two months and the driver’s license is withdrawn as a preliminary procedure. If the act is repeated, the violation is referred to the Traffic Court.” Brigadier Al-Otaibi clarified that it is not permissible to withdraw a driver’s license just because the car’s windows are tinted, affirming that the driver of the vehicle, in case such a situation happens, must go to the relevant department to report the withdrawal of his license. He revealed that 452 juveniles had been referred to the Public Prosecution due to traffic cases in 2020, which is an increase of 17 juveniles compared to 2019.
By Muneef Nayef Al-Seyassah Staff