KUWAIT CITY, Nov 16: The General Traffic Department (GTD) has suspended implementation of the decision to impound vehicles if the driver and front seat passenger are not wearing seat belts or if the driver is using mobile phone by hand while driving in compliance with the directive of acting Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarah and Undersecretary Lieutenant General Mahmoud Al- Doussari, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

The officials issued the directive 24 hours after enforcing the decision which led to impounding of 1,000 cars. Citizens and MPs praised the decision of Al-Jarrah and Al- Doussari, pointing out the negative consequences of impounding vehicles for both the citizens and expatriates.

Several citizens and expatriates had to resort to car rental offices; thereby, bearing the excessive expenses and fines.

Citizens expressed their disappointment over the enthusiasm to impound cars for the above mentioned violations, while reckless drivers keep on having races on the roads but it seems the concerned authorities are not keen on tracking them down.

They said the authorities should impound the cars of reckless drivers, those who beat the red light and those driving beyond the speed limit for two months.

Meanwhile, security sources said the decision to impound cars for not wearing seat belts and using mobile phone by hand while driving was not effective — taking into consideration the negative social and financial consequences, in addition to the accumulation of fines due to the lock put on violators’ files so the GTD has been unable to collect fines estimated at millions of Kuwaiti dinars.

In a related development, a number of bloggers called to mind Lieutenant Abdulfattah Al-Ali who targeted reckless drivers as a way of addressing the traffic problem, up to the extent that some reckless drivers hid their cars inside their houses or even on the roof of their houses.

Also, taxi drivers took advantage of the situation as they waited in front of impounded vehicles centers to offer a ride to the owners of such vehicles at KD 10.

A citizen documented the damages that the impounding procedures caused to his luxury car. Another citizen said the traffic officers asked him to remove his things — heater and other items — from the car before impounding it, leaving him repeatedly saying, “Thanks to the Ministry of Interior.”

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Arab Times Staff

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