Kuwait is deporting four foreigners who were arrested for driving without licences. The move is in line with a decision by Interior Minister Shaikh Mohammad Al Khalid to deport any expatriate caught driving without a licence.
Under the decision announced this week, the driver faces deportation within hours for breaking the country’s laws. The sponsor is informed about the deportation and he is requested to hand over the expatriate's passport and to buy him a one-way ticket, a local daily reported on Tuesday.
Kuwaiti authorities said they wanted to ensure full compliance with the law and to address chaotic situations on the roads. A study commissioned to look into the status of foreign drivers in the country has recommended raising the fee to obtain a driving licence for expatriates to KD300.
An initial recommendation was KD500, but the interior ministry suggested lowering it.
The move aims to limit the number of foreign drivers on the country’s increasingly congested roads.
Around two thirds of Kuwait’s total population of 3.2 million are foreigners, mainly domestics helpers and unskilled labourers from Asian countries working in the service and construction sectors.
A traffic official said that around 9,000 driving licences have been revoked from foreigners, mainly stay-at-home wives who took up jobs and who under the new rules have to submit new applications.
Kuwait has launched several campaigns to address deficiencies and abuses on the roads that have gained an unwanted notoriety as chaotic and dangerous in the absence of an adequate driving culture and full compliance with rules and regulations.