Harsher punishments are being considered for traffic law violators, with the amendment to the law penalizing a variety of violations with three months and a fine between KD 200 and KD 500. The following traffic violations are crossing the red traffic light, reckless driving that endangers lives or damages property, racing on roads, speeding or driving buggies outside the designated places, driving against the flow of traffic on highways or roundabouts, speaking with hand-held phones while driving, driving a vehicle without the license plates, changing license plate numbers, and using a private car to transport passengers without a permit. The government has sent the amendments of Traffic to the National Assembly for approval.

Anyone violating the traffic law by driving a vehicle without a driving license or driving on a withdrawn or suspended license; refusing to give way for government vehicles (ambulances, police patrols chasing suspects) and official motorcades and driving on the shoulder of the road will invite a penalty of 3 months imprisonment and a fine between KD150 to KD 300 dinars.

Among the changes to the law, an accident that damages an individuals’ property or public facilities, allowing a child 10 years and below to sit in the front seat, driving a vehicle without brakes or faulty brakes, and allowing someone to drive a vehicle without a license, leading to a two-month imprisonment and a fine from KD100 to 200 dinars. This penalty is also applicable for vehicles which do not adhere to vehicle measurement requirements in terms of load, height, width, length or weight, driving a vehicle that emits heavy smoke, makes noise or if contents (cargo) of the vehicle drops on the road, noncompliance with road and traffic signs, placing stickers or pictures on the body of the vehicle without permission, and driving a vehicle without insurance papers or with tinted glass.

One month imprisonment and fine between KD50-100 dinar will be enforced against anyone caught driving a vehicle without the knowledge or consent of its owner, driving a vehicle with an illegible numbers plate, or with a single plate, refusing to present a driver’s license or registration book to police upon request, using lamps or amplifiers other than those authorized by law, parking or driving on sidewalks or pedestrian roads, stopping the vehicle at night on highways or unlit roads without small lights on, the use of highbeam, dazzling lights or flashlights in a manner contrary to what is prescribed for their use; turning, entering or reversing against the direction of traffic flow, driving a vehicle at a speed less than the minimum limit on expressways or on roundabouts.

Those who are involved in the following illegal acts –  transporting passengers without justification or charging more than the regulated prices, abandoning animals without anyone to take care of them, or keepers violating rules or neglecting to exert control over them; pedestrians and cyclists violating traffic rules, driving a motorized vehicle without a vehicle license or a driving license, driving without the lights on, abandoning a vehicle or its debris on the road or sidewalks, and deliberately obstructing traffic on public roads. They will be punished for a period of up to fifteen days and a fine falling from KD 45 to 75 dinars.

Following a conviction by the court for a crime related to driving a vehicle, the driving license or the vehicle or its license plates may be withdrawn. There is a fine of KD 150 for driving or parking on the sidewalks and failing to fasten the seat belts.