MoI moves to end traffic bottlenecks
The Ministry of Interior is in the process of finding radical solutions to the issue of traffic bottlenecks in the country, and one of the reasons, the General Traffic Department says is expatriates who continue to drive with what the department said ‘expired’ driving licenses in violation of the law, reports Al-Rai daily.
The sources said many of these expats “circumvent the law and continue to use the expired licenses, because they are fully aware that if they are caught driving with an expired license, they will escape by paying just a five dinars fine. This is because the law sees them as people, who have license, but it has expired, while in fact the purpose for which these licenses were granted has ended and therefore they should be treated as people driving without a license for which the punishment is deportation from the country. The sources said “about 20,000 driving licenses were granted to university students, who continue to use them even after the purpose has been served. The ministry says these students after completing their studies should have handed in the licenses but they did not.
They continue to drive with expired driving licenses and all that the GTD has done is placed a ‘block’ because these licenses cannot be renewed. This is in addition to about 40,000 licenses granted to expatriates who had also obtained them based on the nature of their profession, but after change in profession they should have surrendered these licenses but they did not. The sources added the GTD has now linked the issue with the Residence Affairs Authority of the Public Authority for Manpower, so if any expatriate who holds an ‘expired’ driving license cannot renew the residence permit until the license is surrendered to the concerned authority.
In an additional step the sources said “a circular will be issued soon prohibiting driving the vehicle with the old license even if it is valid and therefore the holder must replace it with the new one, in order to keep in check counterfeiters who obtained driving licenses illegally or the purpose for which they were issued no longer exist. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, Sheikh Faisal Al-Nawaf, had recently requested a study to stop issuing or legalize the issuance of driving licenses to residents, and/or put in place a new mechanism for granting the licenses.