Kuwaiti official’s proposal would see expats deported for traffic violations

The proposal, which would be applied retroactively, is under consideration



An official within Kuwait’s Interior Ministry has reportedly submitted a proposal that would see expats deported if they commit five traffic violations.

Kuwait Times cited a source as confirming the proposal submitted by ministry assistant undersecretary for traffic affairs, major general Fahad Al-Showai, to acting interior minister Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah for consideration.

Under the plan, expats would be allowed a maximum of four traffic violations over five years.

If a fifth is committed during the period the person will be unable to renew their residency permit and face deportation.

After the five-year period ends any violations will be dropped and a new cycle will begin.

Not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone while driving, parking on pavements and in pedestrian areas and obstructing traffic are among the offences considered traffic violations in the country.

The source was cited as saying the traffic department had noticed “great disregard of traffic rules by expats” so it was “necessary to take deterrent measures against them”.

If the proposal is approved it will apply to all foreign workers in the country without exception even if the violations are settled or the expat receives an innocent verdict for a violation by the judiciary.

The source said it would be applied retroactively to any current expats with five violations within five years.

The plan comes amid wider debate surrounding the country’s foreign population by MPs and the government.

So far this year, MPs have submitted several proposals to decrease the number of foreigners in the country from an estimated 70 per cent of the 4.4 million population at present.

These include quotas for each country, a 10-year limit on foreigners staying in the country, a tax on remittances, the imposing of exit visas and a ban on new expats from obtaining a driving licence.

Read: Kuwait MP calls for imposing of exit visas on expats

Read: Kuwait MP calls for 10-year limit for foreign workers

On the government side, acting minister of social affairs and labour and minister of state for economic development Hind Al-Sabeeh previously stated the government is taking measures to limit the number of marginal labourers in the country.

Kuwait also introduced new and increased healthcare fees for foreigners in October as part of a wider plan that will eventually see citizens and foreign residents treated in different facilities.

Read: Kuwait’s hospitals see 30% fewer foreign patients after fee increase

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