Drivers in Kuwait who experience minor car accidents (often referred to as ‘fender benders’) often block thinking that they should not move their cars until the police arrive. The opposite is actually the case. The interior ministry issued a decree recently forbidding drivers involved in minor traffic accidents from blocking the road waiting for a police patrol to arrive.
According to the decree, the motorists should go to the police station if nobody is injured and if the vehicles are not seriously damaged and can move. In case of death or injuries during the accident, or if the vehicles are seriously damaged, then the drivers should wait for the police and ambulance.
“The drivers can swap their driving licenses before heading to the police station. They are free to take photos of their vehicles if they want, but it’s not obligatory. If the drivers block the road over a minor accident, they will be ticketed,” Head of the Media Security Department at Interior Ministry Lt Col Nasser Buslaib told Kuwait Times. “At the police station, if the drivers have a dispute over whose fault it was, they have to wait for the investigator. If they don’t have a conflict, then they can just get a report from officers at the police station to fix their cars,” he said.
Sometimes the accident location is inside an urban area so it will be resolved the police station of this area. But on highways, the area of jurisdiction might be confusing, as several districts can flank the road. “If the road is between two or more areas, the police station in charge will be the one on the right side of the accident. If the drivers are not sure, they can drive to the nearest police station, which will then direct them to the one in charge,” explained Buslaib.
A traffic accident in occurs every 10 minutes in Kuwait on average and the majority of these are minor. To reduce the burden on traffic police and free up roads, authorities have now implemented the regulation that allows drivers to exchange details and then move to the nearest police station to complete the necessary paperwork, pay fines and obtain the papers needed for insurance and car repair.
If the accident is serious or the vehicles are rendered immobile, the drivers need to call the emergency hotline 112, which is connected to other departments in charge including police, ambulance and the fire department.
By Nawara Fattahova