Good morning to all and I wish you all a happy eid to come. In this article, I would like to take you to a trip on Kuwait’s streets to let you imagine the frightening and most intimidating moments once you board your car till you reach your destination and give you the reasons behind such careless behaviors by many drivers.
Kuwait has broken the world record in the number of traffic deaths, with 17 deaths recorded in every 100,000 cases on average, according to Chairperson of Traffic safety society Bader Al-Matar. Kuwait’s roads have the capacity to accommodate 700,000 vehicles while almost 1.6 million vehicles drive on the road.
Every time you take your car, you must think one hundred times and pray to arrive home safely as the roads are full of maniacs who roam the streets searching for a prey or to demonstrate and show off to others their ‘sponge muscles.’ Many youngsters roam the streets just to fight with others, start problems, stare at others, flirt with girls, race, being arrogant, you name it. Many of the youngsters who have not been disciplined tend to show off and ignite a fight out of an accidental look or a stare by someone else. One should always look down when walking in the mall or in any place in order to avoid being beaten by those mobs.
Another reason why those individuals act this way is because of their assurance that a ‘big boss’ will cover their backs once they are caught by the police; where they can only make a phone call which does not last more than 2 minutes until the ‘salvation’ comes. The telephones inside the police station will keep ringing and ringing until those youngsters are released. So, in this case they would keep repeating what they have been doing because there is no punishment.
Another aspect is arrogance. Many feel that since they are Kuwaitis, they can do whatever they want because it is their country. So you see many of them flaunt others especially the Asians and helpless workers who drive peacefully and tend to nag them on the roads till they make an accident. And when the poor man comes out of his car to see what happened, the youngsters start attacking him and put the blame on him knowing that he is helpless and his rights for sure will be taken away.
In the United States, roads are respected and those who give a signal to pass you are also respected. In America, there is no wasta (connection) and the law applies on all. How I wish to see some of the youngsters who burn their tires in many areas in Kuwait and those who block the streets during weddings do such a thing in the States and try to call their wasta to come save them. I bet both of them, the driver and his connections, will be put behind bars.
Why many do not respect pedestrians’ crossings, handicapped parking, parking in the designated areas not on the green landscapes or on pavements? Why do many bother you with their intense xenon lighting, mad driving and arrogance? Why police cars only fine the helpless and leave those maniacs do whatever they want?
After all, Society must accept that bad manners and careless behavior are a major cause of road accidents. More courtesy and care from road users will help improve road safety and reduce the road toll. Courtesy on the road also involves recognizing and accepting some responsibility for the actions of fellow road users. It is about being forgiving and making allowances, recognizing that you will benefit when this goodwill is reciprocated.
Until the next article Insha Allah
Author - Talal Alghanim