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KKMA hold defensive driving awareness programme
June 23, 2013, 10:15 am

The Kuwait Kerala Muslim Association (KKMA) the largest organization of Indian nationals living in Kuwait held a special public awareness seminar on ‘DEFENSIVE DRIVING AWARENESS (DDA)’ on Friday 21st June 2013 at Indian community school from 7.30 pm onwards.  The seminar was conducted under the guidance of Ministry of Interior Kuwait in association with American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Kuwait Chapter.

After the formal introduction by compere of the evening SM Basheer, the program started with recitation of Quran.  The guests of the evening Ambassador of India to Kuwait H.E.Satish C. Mehta, Lieutenant Colonel Harbi Abdulla Al Shumiaan, Lieutenant Colonel Nawaf Al Hayyan, Chief Area Commander Abdulla Bahman, Public Procecuter Huissein Abu Shalfa, Captain Abdul Mohsen Ali, Abdullah Al Otaibi- Incharge of Salmiya traffic department, Fadel Al Ali- Chairman ASSE Kuwait Chapter, Vasudevan N- President ASSE Kuwait Chapter, Prakash Nair, Farhad Kjan, Ashok Kalra and other dignitaries were invited to the dais and honored with flower bouquets.

After the welcome speech by KKMA President Abdul Fatah, KKMA Chairman Sageer Trikarpur delivered the opening remarks.  Ambassador of India to Kuwait H.E.Satish C. Mehta launched the program symbolically by operating remote to start the presentation.  He also spoke regarding the present crackdown on illegal’s and the support of Kuwait Government and Indian Embassy to Indians through help lines.  A memento was received by Lieutenant Colonel Nawaf Al Hayyan on behalf of Major General Abdul Fattah Al Ali.  He also released Safe driver pledge tag which was distributed to the audience.

After the felicitation speech by Fadel Al Ali- Chairman ASSE Kuwait Chapter, a presentation on ‘Road Safety’ was presented by Vasudevan N- President ASSE Kuwait Chapter.  Presentation on ‘Traffic Awareness’ by Lieutenant Colonel Harbi Abdulla Al Shumiaan really brought confidence in audience which had a vast information on eligibility for driving license, Traffic rules & Morals, Movement rules, Crossovers & Passing priorities, Traffic offences and penalties.  He Thanked Indian community in Kuwait as they are very good follower of traffic rules and very good in using Kuwait roads.  He asked everyone to respect traffic rules and to be safe.  He mentioned that Kuwait Government welcomes any number of expatriates provided they enter legally and respect the rules of Kuwait.  He said Kuwait respects expatriates as they helped to build Kuwait.  He also asked not to respond to any rumors and to contact concerned authorities in Embassy or traffic department in case of wrong identification of offenses.

A question and answer session led by Lieutenant Colonel Harbi Abdulla Al Shumiaan and Lieutenant Colonel Nawaf Al Hayyan was responded by a huge number of questions which indicated the success of seminar. 

Mementoes were awarded to ASSE and their trainers Farhad Kjan and Prakash Nair.  The program came to an end with vote of thanks by Hamza Payannur- Organizing Secretary of KKMA.  Earlier in the day Defensive driving Awareness training for drivers was conducted which was attended by about 220 drivers who were also awarded certificates.  The program was well compered by SM Basheer. 

Following are the some issues discussed during question answer session.

  • Those who got license as a dependent or student can drive as far as they retain the status of their residency.  Once they change their status or start to work, the license issued will not be valid and they must apply for a new license if their job is eligible to get a license.
  • Those who got license as domestic drivers can drive as far as they retain the status of their residency.  Once they change their status or start to work in companies, the license issued will not be valid and they must apply for a new license if their job is eligible to get a license.
  • Those owning a car with valid driver license must use it for their own transportation and not for transportation of public as a taxi. Family members or friends can be accommodated in the car, which will need to be proved if asked by a police officer.
  • If the red signal is crossed safely to give way to Police, ambulance or fire, it will not be considered as an offense.  In case of any fines for the same can be discussed in traffic department as the photo taken by speeding camera will show the evidence.
  • Even though crossing the red signal is a serious offence, the drivers will not be deported for their first offense.  Repetition of  the same and frequency of the repeat will be considered for deportation as he/she will be considered as danger for public during driving.  This is applicable for other offenses too.
  • Any deportation for traffic offense will not be done immediately and only done after completing formalities.  There will be proper time between the offense and deportation for hearing and to clear any dues as the person will owe for company, banks, phone/electricity/accommodation providers etc.
  • While driving using of mobile phone is prohibited.  Using hands free is allowed to talk.  But dialing, messaging, using social networks on phone while driving will lead into get a ticket.
  • The car provided by company should be driven by the employee and not by his family members.  A person with valid driving license can drive his/her relative’s or friend’s car with their concern/permission.  Driving a car without the knowledge of owner will be considered as offense.
  • Any change of address should be informed to traffic department immediately through a simple formality.  The driver needs to fill a form and submit to traffic department with a copy of civil ID containing new address.
  • Driving lesser than minimum speed mentioned on the roads is also considered as offense.  Even though Indians are considered as good drivers in Kuwait, among the Indian community the major two problems are using the personal vehicle for transporting passengers as Taxi and driving at lesser speed than the mentioned.  Some of the drivers consider driving slow is safe and drive at very low speed without considering the cars at front, back or beside them which will confuse other drivers.  Slow drivers should uses right side lanes and allow left side lanes for fast drivers.  A way should be provided for the fast drivers if they approach from behind.  Using a moderate speed considering the type of road on proper lanes with safe distance only lead to a safe driving.

Report and pics by Wilson Saldanha, Shirthady/ Kuwait

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