In this digital age, a century-old device such as the parking meter is still around. The meters allow motorists to park their vehicles in designated areas by paying 50 or 100 fils. Parking meters can be found in Salmiya, Fahaheel and Kuwait City. However, many of these meters are no longer functioning, as some of them are destroyed or dilapidated.

To report malfunctions, Kuwait Times approached the interior ministry, but were told they are not the right department for this particular concern. The Municipality and the finance ministry also said they are not the authorities on this matter. Many drivers admitted to not paying anything while using the space for parking. “I’ve been driving since 2003, and have never paid a single fils when using a metered parking space. There has been no trouble, so I keep on doing this,” a taxi driver told Kuwait Times. But according to a police officer, violators can be fined KD 50.

A parking meter is a device used to collect money in exchange for the right to park a vehicle in a particular place for a limited amount of time. The parking meters are used by municipalities as a tool for enforcing their integrated on-street parking policy, usually related to their traffic and mobility management policies, but also for revenue. An early patent for a parking meter was filed by Roger W Babson on August 30, 1928. The meter was intended to operate on power from the battery of the parking vehicle and required a connection from the vehicle to the meter. Holger George Thuesen and Gerald A Hale designed the first working parking meter, the Black Maria, in 1935.

By Ben Garcia