Kuwait News

Over nine million traffic violations in 2023, over-speeding tops the list

Marking the launch of the Unified Gulf Traffic Week last week, the General Directorate of Traffic (GTD) under the Ministry of Interior held a press conference on 29 February, to mark the launch of the annual Unified Gulf Traffic Week, which this year was held under the slogan ‘Driving without a Phone’.

The media gathering, which was held in the presence of Acting Undersecretary of the Traffic and Operations Sector, Major General Yousef Al Khadda, was also attended by the Assistant Director for Technical Affairs, Brigadier General Muhammad Al-Adwani, Assistant Director for Planning and Research Affairs, Brigadier Saeed Al-Amiri, Assistant Director for Public Relations and Traffic Awareness, Brigadier AbdulIlah Al-Abdul Salam, and a number of senior traffic sector leaders.

In his presentation at the meeting, Director of the Traffic Awareness Department and Chairman of the Traffic Week Activities Committee, Brigadier General Nawaf Al-Hayya, detailed some of the alarming traffic statistics for the year 2023. The figures showed that the number of registered violations reached 9,120,006, with the number of direct violations registered reaching 3,142,923 and indirect violation registrations totaling 5,977,083.

Giving a breakdown of violations, Al-Hayyan said that statistics reveal that over-speeding topped the list of violations at 4,294,446 and crossing a red light signal ranked second with 853,220 violations. Pointing out that the high number of these two violations is a dangerous indicator, he noted that these violations lead to loss of life, serious injuries and material losses. Citing health ministry data, he added that 40 percent of the death rate in Kuwait is the result of traffic accidents.

The GTD figures statistics also showed that the number of vehicles registered in Kuwait reached 2,546,798 and the number of private driving license holders were 1,951,203, which included 152,779 general licenses, 16,229 heavy-vehicle driving licenses, and 31, 284 motorcycle licenses, of which 11,992 were delivery motorcycle licenses. The data also showed that 52 percent of the total driving licenses were issued to Kuwaitis, with the remaining being issued to non-Kuwaitis.

In addition, other violations registered in 2023 included, not wearing a seat belt (370,120); using a mobile phone while driving (185,816); annoying sounds arising from the vehicle exhaust (102,816); and poor condition of vehicle (49,038). Violations for inattentiveness while driving amounted to 21,897, reckless driving incidents were 8,540,and racing on a public road amounted to 892 violations. during the coming period, to form a traffic system in collecting violations between GCC countries, pointing out that the majority of traffic transactions are currently conducted electronically, as part of the Ministry of Interior’s plan to facilitate procedures for completing transactions for citizens and residents.

Reviewing the strategies employed by GTD to reduce violations and improve safety on Kuwait’s roads, Al-Hayyan said that a security-camera network, including 255 fixed cameras and 18 mobile units, constantly monitored highways, byways and intersections in the country.

He also noted that a new network, which currently links Kuwait with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, will soon be extended to include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman to form an integrated Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) traffic network. The network would facilitate the collection of traffic violation fines from GCC citizens and residents, and allow better coordination between traffic departments in all six GCC states.

In his response to journalists’ questions, Al-Hayyan said that the current traffic violations law is not suitable for the current age, because it was drawn up to reflect traffic conditions that existed several decades ago. He pointed out that over the years, traffic conditions and roads have changed remarkably, and the number of vehicles are constantly increasing, so it was important for the National Assembly to urgently approve the revised draft traffic law submitted in parliament.

Highlighting the GTD’s new ‘Rased’ online mobile application, Al-Hayyan said that more than 650,000 violations were registered through the app since its launch in September 2023. He added that the app also made it easier for violators to receive full information about their traffic infraction and the penalties incurred.

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