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Kuwaitis, expats face trial over unpaid fines
September 18, 2013, 9:56 am

Around 12,000 Kuwaiti nationals and residents could face trial if they persisted in refusing to pay traffic fines, a senior official has warned. “They will be referred to the public prosecution to ban them from travel, and then to the court for refusing to pay due traffic fines,” Abdul Fattah Al Aali, the assistant undersecretary for traffic, said.

“The fines range between 500 dinars (Dh6,451) and 8,000 dinars and there will be court orders to oblige the violators to pay their dues to the state. This is part of preserving public funds,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Qabas on Tuesday.

Last week, Abdul Fattah warned citizens and expatriate residents that those who failed to pay their traffic fines would be banned by a court of law from travelling, starting next month (October). The defaulters will also lose their right to all operations related to the interior ministry, including the renewal of licences and residence permits, he said.

The official who has been conducting a relentless campaign to ensure full compliance with the law said that the state was able to recover 38 million dinars (Dh488.71 million) of the 41 million dinars that companies and establishments owed the state in fines and penalties.

“Now, it is the turn of the citizens and the residents to pay up their dues,” he said.

Al Aali dismissed attacks on his character for his perceived heavy-handed approach towards law-breakers, particularly foreign drivers who commit several traffic offences. “The Traffic Directorate applies the law and imposes discipline on all drivers in accordance with the law,” he said. “Decisions to deport foreigners who repeatedly broke the law are taken by a court and not by the directorate. No foreigner is deported until he or she pays the financial penalties for all his or her violations. His or her Kuwaiti licence is also cancelled to make sure it is not used in their home of origin or in another country,” he said.

The gradual re-opening of the government schools in Kuwait this week has once more put the spotlight on the role of traffic patrols in easing congestion. “We have been ready to deal with the morning and afternoon rush and to address wrong practices by some drivers,” Mahmoud Al Dossary, the assistant undersecretary for public order, said. “There will be a zero-tolerance policy towards reckless driving or driving without a licence. We will also be very strict with the young men who show off near girls’ schools,” he said.


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