According to Zawya, expatriates in Kuwait who repeatedly commit traffic offenses while driving will be deported, a top government official said.
The Director of the General Public Relations and Security Media Department Brigadier Adel Al Hashash disclosed that the ministry will deport expats who commit traffic violations repeatedly.
"The expatriate who breaks the law twice by not wearing the seatbelt or using a mobile phone should be in his home country," Brigadier Adel Al Hashash, was quoted as saying.
"Article 207 of the traffic law allows the impounding of vehicles while other articles give the interior minister the right to deport those who do not comply with the public order and break the laws," he said during a televised interview in Kuwait.
Al Hashash called on all Kuwaiti citizens and expatriates to follow the traffic rules and to cooperate with authorities for the safety of motorists and other road users.
However, speaking to Kuwaiti daily Al Seyassah on Thursday, a legal expert said that deporting foreigners for breaking traffic was an exaggeration of the penalty.
"We have to be cautious about deporting foreigners for not wearing seatbelts," Mudawas Al Rashidi, Professor of International Law at the University of Kuwait said.
“We need to think whether other countries could take similar stances and threaten Kuwaitis, especially students, that they would be deported if they are caught breaking traffic laws abroad,” he added.
In the past, numerous Kuwaitis have expressed anger at a decision to impound cars for months after drivers were caught not wearing seatbelts, using cell phones, parking on sideways, or in no-parking areas.
Gulf News reported that one lawmaker, Riyadh Al Adsani, threatened to question the interior minister if the new decision is not revoked, arguing that penalties should be gradual.
Other lawmakers said that the decision might not be constitutional and should be reconsidered. However, the ministry remained unfazed and insisted on the application of the new decision.
“The Traffic Directorate will not accept any mediation by anyone not to impound vehicles or to release cars,” Al Hashash said.
Latest traffic figures from Kuwait:
According to Gulf News, the latest traffic figures show that 917,447 accidents have occurred since 2012.
There were 86,271 accidents in 2012, 89,527 in 2013, 99,047 in 2014, 77,961 in 2015, and 71,582 in 2016.
The figure is 23,529 in the first four months of this year alone.
In 2012, accidents resulted in the death of 454 people, going down to 445 in 2013, but increasing again to 461 in 2014.
In 2015, there were 429 deaths while the figure was 153 up to April in 2017.