Most expats unhappy about new rules for Driving licence
KD 600 Too High; Graduate ‘Unfair’
IN THIS week’s Arab Times online poll, respondents weighed in on the recent changes in stipulations for acquiring a driving license, with the majority of people being worried most about the driving license being linked to the residence validity.
The Deputy Premier, Minister of Interior Sheikh Mohammed Al-Khalid Al-Sabah issued a ministerial decision recently, amending certain provisions of the executive bylaw of the Traffic Act thereby announcing that an expatriate applying for commercial or private driving license should have a valid residence and must have resided in the country for at least two years, with a salary of not less than KD 600, besides a university degree.
The Interior Ministry has exempted some categories of persons from some of the conditions required for obtaining a driving license. 39 percent of voters were concerned about the driving license being linked to the validity of their residence permit. It has been reported that the decision to set more stipulations for obtaining a driving license is said to be an attempt to curb some categories of persons that exploit career titles save for their true professions just to get driving license.
The Ministry of Interior also hopes that the new conditions will also provide a solution to the issue of traffic jams in the country. “This is another example for the government trying to treat the symptom and not the actual disease.
The only way to have emptier roads is to build new alternatives and strengthen the public transportation system, regulate taxi fares. No matter what adjustments they make to these rules, with a growing population you will need more long term solutions”, a concerned reader stated. “If the government wants to reduce the number of expatriate drivers on the road, they should make it compulsory for employers to provide free transportation to employees and encourage carpooling.
This would be more effective than introducing new rules and amendments that people can get away with the all too powerful ‘wasta’”, a respondent shared.
Another significant change is the increase in minimum salary requirement to KD 600, 29 percent of people found this to be troubling. “KD 600 is too high a cut-off and it is very discriminatory”, a young professional stated.
14 percent of voters felt the requirement to be a Graduate or belong to an approved category as being unfair. “A university degree won’t make anyone a better driver. Instead of proposing such stipulations, the MOI should revoke the licenses of repeated traffic violators if they want to bring down the number of drivers on the road”, a voter shared.
8 percent of the people who participated in the poll felt that the minimum stay of two years in Kuwait needed before you apply for a driving license was unnecessary. “I just arrived in Kuwait and I have a good job that meets the salary requirement but unfortunately is not included in the professions exempted from the minimum stay required. I think this is very unfair because I have been driving in my home country for years. I come here and I have to wait two years to even apply? It’s ridiculous”, a respondent stated.
5 percent shared that they would be affected by the stipulation that on change of profession, the driving license may be cancelled if the new job title is not included in the list of professions entitled to a driving license. “My driving license which was valid for ten years is set to expire next year. I am a secretary and I am afraid my driving license will not be renewed. I won’t be able to drop my kids off to school, pick them up or drive them to their extracurricular activities. This is going to disrupt our life”, a working mother shared.
Another 5 percent of the voters stated that they would be unaffected by the changes as they use public transport to move about. “Fortunately I live close to a bus stop and work in Kuwait City.
I have been using the bus for many years and I really don’t feel the need to own a car. I don’t have to worry about parking or getting into an accident”, a reader shared.
Source: Arab Times