- Kuwait Times Extra
As usual, whenever there is a problem in Kuwait, you can always rely on some discriminatory proposal to try and solve the problem. This week’s proposal is meant to address the traffic issues evidently witnessed on the streets of Kuwait. As you all may have read, the proposal aims to make life more difficult for foreigners. The government proposes raising the price of a driving license to a whopping KD 500 and a similarly ridiculous amount of money to renew it. Of course, domestic drivers will be exempt from such pricing otherwise this law will affect every Kuwaiti citizen and that may cause a revolution.
I think the term discrimination does not exist in the dictionary of lawmakers in Kuwait. Any legally resident person in the country is a citizen of Kuwait and should be treated equally under the laws of the land. Such proposals are discriminatory and are unfair, looking at the fact that life is very expensive and there are no other decent means of transportation in the country. Our buses and taxis are horrible and I am sure whoever proposed this law would not even think about using public transport. Or if he got off his high horse and tried the public transport a few times, then I dare him to allow his daughter or sister to use it before he forces others to do so.
I don’t need to point out the evident flaws of our transport system but here are a few proposals that I think will do a heck of a difference to the flow of traffic. At the top of my proposal is for the government to apply the law to the letter. If the government is strict about applying rules and regulations, then this will see areas such as Hawally shrink in population since most of its buildings have illegal extensions to accommodate more flats than what was permitted.
It doesn’t stop there. Building owners then scrap the compulsory car parks they are supposed to provide and rent the ground and basement floors to businesses. This results in overpopulated buildings with plenty of cars, no car parks and also a high unauthorized usage of electricity and water. If all the buildings of Hawally were legal, this will move a large amount of traffic away from Maghreb Street, Fahaheel Expressway and the Third and Fourth Ring Roads.
If only the traffic police get off their phones while driving to pay attention to traffic violators on the road such as the ones who double park on the second lane of a three-lane street just to order shawermas from a restaurant. Or if only police pay attention to those parking right in front of the school gate so his/her spoilt kids don’t walk a few meters to the car park of the school. Or if only traffic police paid attention to those who try to skip the queue of an exit and end up blocking two or three lanes by causing a queue of cars trying to take the exit on the right from the extreme left.
This sort of behavior by drivers blocks main roads everyday in Kuwait. Just monitor the exit on Al-Maghreb Street to the Fourth Ring Road during rush hours and you will know what I mean. Penalizing such actions will put a stop to selfish and uncourteous actions like that. Not to forget the drivers who stop side by side to talk regardless of traffic behind them!
Another proposal is logical planning. Most of my friends have their kids in private schools and where are most of these famous private schools? Well, in the past few years, many of them were allowed to move to Hawally! As if traffic was not already an issue there with all these buildings! Hawally is school-central. There are over 10 major schools there and thousands of people drive from all over the country to get in and out of there all at the same time. Whoever planned this should win an award for being the best at diverting traffic to one area.
Why does the government license universities and schools in areas of traffic such as Hawally and Salmyia. Where is the logic behind that?
Here is my simple two-point proposal that I am sure will improve traffic in Kuwait dramatically. Implementation of the law and logical planning – it is that simple.
By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan
Follow me on Twitter: @ab_alyan
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