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Expat wanderer

Kuwait Posts New Speed Limits Effective NOW

From the Kuwait Times:

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January 2, 2014 Posted by | Crime, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Law and Order, Leadership, Living Conditions | , , | 4 Comments

What Are Kuwait Traffic Laws?

You all know me – I am a law and order kind of gal. I like order, I like laws, especially those voted on by the people. I like laws which can be enforced, and are enforced, equally, for all people equally in the country. Oh? I did? I said EQUALLY twice?

We are all equal before the law.

Now here is the tricky part. Have you ever seen a listing of traffic laws in Kuwait? Can you find a listing of laws, violations, and their charges? When we apply for driver’s licenses in almost any country, we get a little booklet to memorize, with the laws written inside it. The laws are clear. Clear laws are enforceable.

I’ve looked at the MOI website. I see something that looks like it might be a traffic code in Arabic. I have looked everywhere; I cannot find one in English. I find no reference to any handbooks for people applying for their driver’s license.

How can you enforce a law if the law is not published? Is there a code somewhere listing violations and fines? I published one many years ago, something that all the expats were sending around as ‘the new Kuwait traffic rules’ but IF it was, there was never anything in the paper about it to confirm its validity.


If you are going to have a major campaign to enforce traffic codes, you might want to publish the laws . . . in all major languages use today in Kuwait.

From the Kuwait Times:

Ali vows to rid traffic ‘disease’

Interior Ministry Assistant Undersecretary Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali
KUWAIT: Interior Ministry Assistant Undersecretary Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali stressed that all traffic violation-related deportations are in accordance with the law. Speaking at a press conference at the Kuwait Journalists Association (KJA) headquarters, Ali said that deporting people for traffic violations was also adopted by the US and other countries worldwide. “The problem is that we were very tolerant with violators and this does not mean that law violation is a right for motorists,” he underlined, urging all human rights organizations who have criticized Kuwait’s traffic police to examine human rights in their respective countries before talking about Kuwait.

“We have filed over 70,000 traffic citations including 43,000 serious ones such as running red lights, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on the wrong side and many others,” he elaborated, pointing out that those already deported did not want to respect the traffic laws they had repeatedly violated. Ali added that the results of studies of traffic problems revealed many and that once one problem was solved, another emerged immediately.

“We have various problems… including the fact that motorists speak many languages and dialects which requires a large number of specialists to develop their traffic awareness,” he explained, noting that the traffic remedy strategy started by diagnosing the “disease” by studying random “specimens” at different times of the day at places with heavy traffic flows such as Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Shuwaikh Industrial Area, Amman Street, Bnaid Al-Gar, Khaitan, Farwaniya and Fahaheel.

“The specimens showed some major problems such as domestic drivers using private vehicles as taxis, taxi and large vehicle drivers who do not hold general driver’s licenses and people driving without licenses at all,” he said, adding that this called for strict law enforcement.

“Traffic in Kuwait is like an old sick man who once treated for one aliment develops another,” he noted, adding that 18 traffic inspection teams dressed in civilian clothes had been formed and deployed in various places. “Fortunately, traffic police only file 100 daily citations in Jleeb compared to 1,000-1,500 in the past”, he concluded.

June 18, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Civility, Communication, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Law and Order, Leadership, Living Conditions, Safety, Social Issues | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Warden Message and More

Fresh in the mailbox from the Embassy comes this warning:

Embassy of the United States of America
Kuwait City, Kuwait
May 4, 2008


To: All American Wardens

From: Consular Section

Subject: Warden Notice 2008 – 9

Please circulate the following message without additions or omissions
immediately to all American citizens within your area of responsibility.

Begin text.

The Minister of Interior, Sheikh Jaber Khaled Al-Sabah, has issued a Ministerial
decree that prohibits drivers in Kuwait from using a cellular phone while
driving a vehicle. This decree (number 76/81) is intended to keep drivers in
Kuwait focused on driving and not talking on a cellular phone. This decree is
consistent with what is going on in our own country in many states that are
enacting laws prohibiting cellular phone use while driving.

This decree goes into effect on May 1, 2008. As a practical matter, drivers
should not be talking on cellular phones while driving at any time. They should
find a safe place to pull over and stop their vehicles before talking on the
cellular phone. Keep in mind this new decree is an amendment to a previous law
already in effect that includes eating or drinking while driving a vehicle an
offense in Kuwait.

You should expect some increased vigilance on the roads by police in the coming
weeks to enforce this decree. Our information from MOI is the fine for use of a
cellular phone while driving will be 15KD.

Comments: There is already a law in effect that bans eating and drinking while driving??? Who knew?

Waaaaaayyyyy back in February, a chart started circulating, said to be a fraud, that pretty accurately defined the new laws in effect 1 May. Looking at it now, I am betting it is a list of new laws that went into effect in JORDAN, and Kuwait used it as a template for changes in Kuwait. I know new traffic laws – very similar – went into effect in Syria on May 1st.

I can’t help wondering how all this came about, but most of all, for your protection and mine, I am thankful for these new laws and the commitment on the part of the government to enforce these laws equally, across the board. The statement we keep hearing is “no one is above the law.” Wooo Hooo, Kuwait!

The only funny thing is – the chart I have seen most often in Kuwait says the fine is KD 50 for driving while on a cell phone. This message says KD 15. The announcement in the paper said KD 5. If anyone out there has been charged for taking on a cell phone while driving, will you let us know what the real fine is?

Is the ban being enforced equally against all drivers? The Kuwait Times says 200 people were charged on the first day of enforcement.

May 4, 2008 Posted by | Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions | , , , , | 3 Comments

New Kuwait Traffic Fines

A new e-mail flying around Kuwait gives the new traffic fines. At first, I thought this was a joke, but it looks pretty serious. Will someone please explain why a Jordanian car would get such a stiff fine?

And I remember a lot of discussion about penalties for talking on a mobile phone while driving, but when did the law pass? Was there any announcement? And babies in the front seat, not allowed, when did that change? All of this is amazing to me, I am still wondering if it is a hoax?


Do you think the police will really enforce these laws?

February 13, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Crime, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions | , | 23 Comments