Driving in Kuwait can be hazardous. Although Kuwait has an extensive and modern system
of well-lit roads, excessive speeding on both primary and secondary roads, coupled with lax enforcement of traffic regulations
and a high density of cars (one vehicle for every 2.8 residents), leads to frequent and often fatal accidents.
In 1999, there were
26,635 reported vehicular accidents, and 333 traffic accident-related deaths for a population of about 2.2 million. Many Automobiles
are smashed, wrecked , and maimed daily. This results is much death and destruction to life and many automobiles....
Below are the abridged
traffic rules of Kuwait with a few results of not following them:
Right of way belongs
to the vehicle which has it's bumper 5cm ahead of another, irrespective of whether approaching from the left or right.
2. The Kuwait scissors
When in 3 lanes
of traffic, all traffic wishing to turn right should occupy the left hand lane and vice versa. One must then wait until the
last possible moment before crossing the other two lanes at right angles to the traffic flow, to do so too early is to lose
There are four ways
to get past the car in front; to the left, to the right, over the top and underneath, also known as undertaking.
4. The weave
Never hold a steady
speed in one lane. You can gain as much as 20 meters over a distance of 10 kilometers by continuously swerving from one lane
to another whilst invoking rules 1 and 10. The minimum speed for this maneuver is 150kph.
of way (buses)
Buses do not have
right of way; they just take it. Bus horns are frighteningly louder than any others. There are some official boarding and
alighting points but the buses will drop off and/or pick up passengers at any place, any time, in traffic, provided that the
passenger is sufficiently fleet of foot and oblivious to the threat of traffic flowing around him.
These may cross
the road when, where, and however they wish. Be they old, young, agile or decrepit, they have the right to step into the traffic
and dodge, dance or merely stolidly move across. However, motorists are encouraged to do their best to hit them, preferably
at speed. (Even on the pavement) Motorist should note that most motorway bridges are 1000m apart and that pedestrians will
cross at 500m intervals.
There are nine possible
combinations of traffic lights in use in Kuwait, they being; red, amber, green, red plus amber, red plus green, green plus
amber, red plus green plus amber, flashing amber, and all off. Any selection of these can be found on any one set of traffic
lights. The meanings of the various arrangements are not known, but if crossing when the lights are red (or any other combination)
and you see a car crossing in front of you, make sure you hit it squarely in the side, if possible, at speed.
These are used for
changing direction and carriageway. If possible try not to pull out if a car is going past in the outside lane of the carriageway
you want to pull into. If you are in a hurry, the somersault and roll method is a quicker way of achieving the same result,
but avoid the lamp posts in the central reservation.
a) Short term: If
you need to, just double or treble park, after all the traffic CAN get around you. b) Long term: Park alongside a yellow and
black curb. If you are lucky the police will fit the car with an anti- theft device or tow it to a secure car park. There
is however a standard charge for these services.
These are not, contrary
to popular belief, for looking for vehicles behind you, but are for grooming, adjusting gutrah's & seeing where the parsley
is stuck to your teeth.