Perhaps Kuwait is number one in the field of home delivery in the world, and this includes the large number of food delivery companies that are available through phone applications. There is clear competition between these companies to deliver orders in record time, with an increase in demand by restaurants and customers to enjoy this service to obtain all kinds of items in no time, and with profit as well. Yet, this has turned out to be a new threat to the lives of people in the streets of Kuwait.
It seems that the high temperature in summer, which does not allow people to go out at all times, and the summer vacation, have led to the increase in the number of bikes that do the task quickly. Delivery has become a better and easy option for many, but in Kuwait it is a real challenge and danger to the safety of motorists on the roads, especially during rush hours.
I think the US launched the idea of home delivery of goods and some food items, but in Kuwait this matter has reached the maximum limit and is scary and dangerous now. The number of motorcycles that roam the streets all day long and at all times is in fact a dangerous matter, because the bikers seem to be in a race to deliver orders without respect or fear of the laws and traffic regulations. They rapidly move between lanes and cars without attention to the risk of collision or understanding the nature of the street, disregarding the safety of residents, especially in the late evening, because the goal is to reach customers as soon as possible.
I believe that the worst part here is that restaurants are specifying a certain time to deliver the requests without taking into account that in peak traffic times, it is difficult to deliver anything in record time and not just 40 or 60 minutes from the time of accepting the customer’s order. So, naturally, we see bikers jumping on pavements, exceeding the speed limit and moving between cars as if they are in a race. This contempt means the possibility of collisions, causing harm to drivers as well as the bikers themselves.
I really hope and wish that the interior ministry intervenes along with ministry of commerce and the consumer protection department to protect the lives of people by preventing the restaurants from trying to set record times for fulfilling requests by setting an estimated period of time and not a specific time limit, for example, or not specifying a time at all. The deliverymen should be punished for their extreme speed, mandate the use of cars instead and stress the importance of carrying valid driving licenses for all bikers and not leave this issue to whims and wasta.
We have to bear in mind that we are in a country suffering from severe obesity and that there are things that should not be ignored. In 2017, the dean of the faculty of public health at Kuwait University revealed that the rate of obesity in Kuwait has reached frightening levels, as obesity increased by 37 percent between 1980 and 2015, with one in five adults obese, and Kuwait has the highest prevalence of childhood and adult obesity.
Some may see that competition in the large number of restaurants that cater to people and the multitude of bikers as a good thing. But, it is not. We should not believe that excessive home delivery of orders is a good thing. I believe it is the contrary. This is why it is time for government intervention to regulate the matter.
By Muna Al-Fuzai