Emergency Lane Rules

Post by Mark


Alqabas newspaper published emergency lane rules a few days ago and Buzfairy was nice enough to translate them into English.

Rules for using the emergency lane in Kuwait:
– Left emergency lane only
– Only if police cars are present
– Right one still just for emergency services only
– 45KM maximum speed
– 6:30AM-9:00AM into the city and 12:30PM-3:30PM out of the city
– Specific instructions regarding our 3 main highways – King Abdulaziz: from 3rd to 6th ring roads – King Fahad (road 40): from 1st to 6th ring roads – King Faisal: from 4th to 6th ring roads

Although this does help ease congestion slightly I think they could have improved on the idea by turning the emergency lane into a carpool lane. That would have helped ease traffic even further.

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17 comments, add your own...

  1. Will they ever finish the bridges being built? I can’t think of any solutions that would decrease traffic which occurs all hours of the day, there is no escape.

  2. 3azeez says:

    ” – Only if police cars are present”


  3. 7th says:

    A carpool lane might be a nice idea but no one is going to follow the rules.

  4. rosy says:

    Car pooling is illegal in Kuwait. People have been caught by Police saying that they are running taxi service. Sad but true.

    • 7th says:

      I thought that was only if you had too many people in the car (more than number of seats)

    • 3azeez says:

      @rosy, this is untrue.

      When a police stop a car packed with passengers, before they fine the driver for running a taxi service, they’d ask the passenger whether or not the driver asked them for money. if they answer no, they driver is in the clear. if they say yes, the driver get fined.

      I know this for a fact because I know couple expats who used our company cars to make some extra cash on the side. its funny and sad when one of the expat top managers I think lost his license or our car when he got caught by the police doing this. and I remember him telling my father about that four passengers said they were not asked to pay except for one ‘bastard’ passenger who said “yes I was asked to pay this much”… that manager was expecting the passenger whose from same nationality to stand by him… but apparently, at the sight of police, everyone would spill out everything just to get out of the situation they found themselves in.

  5. fahad says:

    baby steps. its to early for a car pool lane XD

  6. Buzfairy says:

    Thanks for the mention. This was the clearest announcement of the shoulder lane rules. Unlike before, when we had contradicting statements.

    Carpool is a good idea, but the lanes have to be widened.

    My own suggestion is to just respect the no crossing lines between intersections (only cross if you’re clear, rather than be stuck and make others stuck too with you), enforce one lane turns (like no double or triple lane turns, which makes traffic backup), and enforce mandatory public transport for students.

    Yet no one has asked for my opinion.

    • Nixon says:

      those are some great suggestions.

      To me, the best idea to limit cars on the roads is to make it illegal to drive a car without insurance. The insurance must also have a specific liability coverage.

      This will:
      1. Prevent people from buying too many cars (bear in mind though, its not the number of cars bought but the number of drivers that cause jams)
      2. Significantly reduce vehicles on road (many people wont be able to afford the insurance, not that its very expensive). this will cause a rise in public transportation.

  7. Nixon says:

    A carpool lane would be a good idea, only if the highway was four lanes (making the carpool lane the fifth).
    The thing is, in Kuwait the road system is actually really good. its just that the government should have built roads with more lanes.

    • 3azeez says:

      Its not lane issue. Its issue with traffic department at the Ministry…

      They are supposed to “manage” the traffic… Are they really managing? The easiest thing to do is just say that we have outgrown our road capacity and build more roads. For God’s sake this is a joke. Major cities across the world have old streets that are made of two or three lanes max and yet they are surviving… how?

      In Kuwait… you have a four lanes highway… but people don’t know how to drive on those four lanes, they don’t really understand the purpose of having four lanes. This cases congestion and slows down the traffic.

      To my knowledge, many people think that the decision on which lane you’re going to drive depends on how fast you want to go… so the the 1st lane on the left is for people going 120 km/h. Not above that since above that is illegal… but you can go as slow as 110 km/h. The second lane from the left is for traveling at around 100 km/h. +/-10km/h. the third lane is for going 80 km/h… the minimum speed limit! and the fourth lane… thats better kept empty for heavy trucks and people exiting and entering the highway!!

      Because of that mentality… you’ll have congestion when:

      1. old junk cars that can’t travel at the minimum speed limit of the highway 80km/h. These cars are hazard and should not be allowed to drive on the highway. Who gave them permit to drive around? Thats the Ministry. and that slow moving vehicle is driven on the second lane from the right.

      2. slow moving vehicles occupying almost all lanes… drivers are not actually focused on driving, they are just coasting while speaking over the phone, smoking, talking, eating, getting blow job… etc

      3. fast moving cars trying to get to their destinations quickly by swerving left and right because slow moving vehicles blocking the lane… there is no concept of unblocking a lane!

      Bottom line… teach people this and you’ll solve 50% of your problem if not more… Drive on the right lane. Only use the next available lane to ur left to overtake.

    • Bo3abish says:

      The roads in Kuwait were built a long long time ago for a fraction of the population existent in Kuwait today. So you can see why they’re not enough today; because they were built for a different time.

      More lanes sounds awesome!

  8. This is an increasingly frustrating subject, especially when we all have to endure it day-in and day-out. Thanks @Buzfairy for clarifying and @Mark for the post.

    Lots of practical and simple ideas here for elevating traffic, but I think it really comes down to driver education – this is a fundamental part of understanding and dealing with traffic jams. I would also think the powers-that-be should study the traffic flow, as opposed to number of lanes (a previous commenter mentioned Europe which is true). I remember seeing a documentary about the terrible traffic in Holland. They actually went through with expanding and adding lanes. After much spent money and time, they didn’t see much results – traffic was still terrible. They did, however, realise that traffic flow (along with business, school, etc timings) mixed with the distribution of work and recreational areas was the main contributor to traffic. They basically studied, why and when people are going where they’re going.
    Maybe we should rethink Kuwait’s downtown and the distribution of work areas. How about adjusting work and school timings?

    Come to think of it, Kuwait has a pretty good residential master plan – each residential area has it’s own supermarket, clinic, schools and many services and shops. And somehow we still end up with everyone going to the avenues at the same time………..go figure!

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