Drivers above the law

Statistics reveal that a huge number of fatalities result from reckless driving

Talal Al-Ghannam

In today’s article, I would like to shed some light on the erratic and maniac driving in Kuwait by people who put their lives as well as lives of others at a great risk. The drama starts every day at 6:00 am when I am on my way to work, these irresponsible drivers race and zigzag between lanes and are then chased by patrol cars that are supposedly there to control the flow of traffic, yet they do nothing to stop the ugliness of such reckless driving. Maintaining the speed of 120 km/h is no longer adhered to by many drivers who do not like to stay in lanes behind drivers who respect the traffic law, and tend to flash the high beam headlights, bothering the drivers in front of them with non-stop honking or even trying to cut them off.

Driving in Kuwait has become worse, and the latest statistics reveal that a huge number of fatalities result from such maniac driving. Everyone seems to ‘own the road’ here in Kuwait and never accepts to be told they are wrong. It also seems that many youngsters keep light weapons and sticks in their vehicles in case they need them during a fight or an argument in the road. I pray every day before leaving my house to be able to reach my destination safely and avoid an argument with such irresponsible drivers who roam the streets in search for a fight or to cause unwanted trouble.

Many Europeans whom I have met and interviewed affirm that if such behavior occurs in their countries, drivers of such cars would surely be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. But here, people are aware of their behavior and seem normal, yet end up committing such irresponsible things. They said that over-speeding and reckless driving in their countries are severely punished by law, adding that ‘wasta’ or connection has no place there and is also considered a crime punishable by law.

Here in Kuwait, one can get killed as a result of reckless driving, yet the perpetrator can still walk freely from a police station knowing he has a strong backing and support by an MP or a highranking official. So many cases have occurred where expatriates fall victims to car accidents or end up in jail because of wasta. My suggestion to the traffic department is to install thousands of very tiny surveillance cameras and hide them in lamp posts, and in this case, drivers will be forced to slow down because they would not know where these cameras have been hidden.

By Talal Al-Ghannam
local@kuwaittimes.net

This article was published on 19/11/2017