Every weekend, the Ministry of Interior issues statistics on traffic fines, people arrested and vehicles impounded at checkpoints set up during the week in various areas. These numbers are usually high, especially of vehicles impounded, that most of the time reach more than 2,000 vehicles in just one week, reports Kuwait Times. Many wonder where all these vehicles are kept, and how the ministry manages to find such huge spaces.
According to Major Nasser Buslaib, Head of the Security Media Department at the Ministry of Interior, the seized vehicles are taken to either of the ministry’s two garages in Mina Abdullah and Subhan. “The violating vehicle is immediately towed to one of these garages without holding it temporarily in any other place.
The violator is always informed where his vehicle will be transferred. If he doesn’t collect it after a certain period (usually a few months), then it may be sold at a public auction,” he told Kuwait Times.
Many motorists in Kuwait complain that although the traffic violations may vary, the result is the same - impounding the vehicle. According to the official website of the Ministry of Interior, there are 22 reasons for impounding vehicles, but some vehicles have been seized for offenses that are not on this list.
Buslaib explained that in some cases, the General Director of the Traffic Department issues a decree according to which policemen are allowed to impound vehicles even for violations that are not included in the traffic law. “The General Director has the authority and power to issue such decrees. Also, some new rules or decrees may be issued but have not been added to the website yet, such as impounding vehicles for parking in spaces reserved for the disabled,” said Buslaib.
Motorists also complain of the abusive behavior of many police officers, especially at checkpoints. For instance, police seized Fahd’s vehicle simply for not carrying his driving license. “I was driving and had forgotten my driving license at home.
When the police stopped me, they refused to wait and give me a chance to call my brother to bring it to me, and seized my vehicle. I was only able to collect it after two weeks, although I paid the fine for forgetting my license and KD 20 for towing my car to the garage, as they told me the policeman hasn’t finished his book of fines. So I had to pay for each day the car remained there,” Fahd fumed. This is far from the only incident. “Many policemen are exploiting their authority and break laws. For instance, they seized my friend’s vehicle just because his fuel tank was less than a quarter full, which they consider dangerous for road users.
Furthermore, they used a forklift which damaged his vehicle. It cost him more than KD 1,000 to repair his car, and when he filed a case, it was delayed for more than two years and he didn’t even get anything, as the offending policeman knew the police working at that police station. So the case filed against the ministry didn’t reach an end. If you don’t have wasta, you are lost,” rued Waleed.