Kuwait's perilous highways have claimed some 140 lives in the first half of this year, a newspaper reported Monday, September 10. Arab Times quoted the chairman of the Safety Society for Prevention of Road Accidents, Badr Al-Matar, as saying there was a total of 14,764 road accidents during the same period.
Hundreds of sophisticated cameras and radars have been installed on Kuwait's main roads in a bid to stem a rise in serious traffic accidents, mostly caused by speeding and motorists who run red lights. Offenders, whose pictures are stored on CDs at the traffic department, are required to pay heavy fines and foreigners who repeatedly break the law are deported.
Around 350 people are killed and several thousand injured in traffic accidents each year in Kuwait, which has a population of 2.2 million and 800,000 vehicles on the road. Driving in the oil-rich emirate can be a knuckle-clenching experience, with many motorists racing at up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) an hour, failing to indicate and ignoring road signs.
Brigadier Thabt Al-Muhanna, director of the General Traffic Department, recently said that a new traffic law, introducing the first significant changes to traffic regulations in Kuwait since 1976, would come into effect in November. — (AFP, Kuwait)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )