Banned Complaints News

Electric Scooters Banned on Roads

A couple of days ago the MOI announced a ban on riding electric scooters on roads. That makes total sense if it wasn’t for the fact that the reason people are riding their electric scooters on roads, is for the same reason you see people walking or riding bicycles on roads, we don’t have sidewalks.

I live in Salmiya where I’ve noticed a lot of people have started using scooters to commute around. I’m 100% sure they don’t want to be riding their scooters on the roads but are forced to due to the lack of sidewalks. Driving around any area of residential Salmiya and you’ll also notice people walking on the sides of the roads as well because there are no sidewalks. And this doesn’t just apply to Salmiya, if you head to other densely populated areas like Jabriya, Salwa, Hawalli, etc. you’ll also see the exact same situation there.

A lot of these people don’t earn a lot of money and with the pandemic right now most would prefer not to use cabs or busses. Add to the fact these same people who are being banned from using scooters to commute can’t even get driving licenses because of the laws in place that prevent them. Scooters are a great alternative for public transportation and it’s really unfair that due to poor urban planning, these low-income workers are now not allowed to use them to commute. It’s as if we keep looking for ways to make life even harder for them here.

32 replies on “Electric Scooters Banned on Roads”

Mark, you are totally right

However I think this rule was done so people don’t get into serious injuries. I would think the best thing to counter this is to enforce a helmet wearing rule, and maybe limit how far people can go, as well as ensure they do not go down the very busy highways and stick to the side of the road

You know what helmets do in a vehicle/bike or vehicle/scooter accident? Make the cleanup easier…

Maybe they should enforce the hands free rule on cell phones. Fine the shit out of people for using them while driving. Maybe police officers could do their job instead of hanging out like a pair of nuts on the side of the road.

But since Porsche doesn’t make scooters, they won’t appeal to the people that make the rules here. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’ll be like all the other rules in Kuwait. Selectively enforced. Dress like a Kuwaiti…they won’t say a word to you.

A friend of mine recently got into a motorbike accident that cracked his helmet in half. Guess what happened to him. He got away with minor scratches and a twisted wrist but was otherwise fine right after the accident. Had it not been for the helmet he would have cracked his skull open. So no, helmets do not just make the cleanup easier. Wearing a helmet can literally save your life.

If he was wearing a motorcycle helmet that cracked on impact he either was wearing a seriously crappy helmet made of mascarpone, or the force of the impact was such that he’s got a TBI. And, unfortunately, concussive injury syndrome isn’t something that shows up on X-rays or MRIs. Oh, and TBIs are cumulative. Not saying that to be a dick. Your friend should get it checked out and followed up on.

My overly-simplistic statement was meant to illustrate that, yes…helmets are important. In this case, it doesn’t address the root problem of the farcical enforcement of traffic laws in kuwait, and simply exempts the shittiest, most privileged people to do what they want inside their 3000-pound luxury weapons.

I’m amazed at how few people use the hands-free features of their cars, or even a phone mount. Then again, I’m constantly amazed at the inability for drivers to maintain their lanes or not tailgate.

Yes. Helmets work. I wear one every time I get on a bike, scooter or skateboard. I helmet in an accident between a car and a rider on an electric scooter will be a container, not protective equipment.

Let’s enforce the laws that are on the books, hold people accountable, and not make new ones. Just a thought. Probably a pretty funny one.

Dude not sure why you’re getting all defensive and bitter on me lol. No, his helmet was not made from mascarpone (it’s a Bell helmet certified by the Snell Foundation for safety standards if you care to know). I hate to break it to you but helmets are not totally indestructible and do break sometimes, and in my friends case falling head first on the asphalt then having the spinning bike drop on his head. It’s long shot but it does happen. And I would choose a concussion over having my skull busted open on the asphalt any day, so not sure what your point is there (and happy to say it’s been more than a year since the accident and my friend is alive and kicking). But I’m glad that we agree on the main point here that helmets can save lives and that your original comment was overly simplistic and just plain wrong. End of.

Not to dip too deep into this, but pretty sure you came at me with “wrong wrong wrong!” first. If I was being defensive, I would have picked your shit apart piece by piece. Since I agreed with you, I didn’t. Hence…not defensive. But, if it makes ya feel like a superhero, rock on, Wolverine!

MY main point, which you got lost on, was establishing a helmet law would not address the main problem. But, since we turned this around to the health of your friend, I’m glad he’s okay. Again, if he fell hard enough to crack his helmet IN EFFING HALF, then he got really lucky. Good to hear.


I love the perspective you brought to this issue. If have never known there were others impacted other than some kids riding around. However I also think this is important as
1) I rarely see anyone driving now without a phone in one hand and we’ve already lost a lot of bikers and pedestrians due to this
2) I think they need to move to getting bicycle only lanes implemented quickly. It’s economical and safer given especially covid challenges and upcoming flu season. God save us all!

I support the second point here.

Get inspiration by a quick Google of London’s bicycle super highways. I’ve ridden them and theyre fantastic.

That is london and this is Kuwait. You will see cars parked here. Consideration is not a trait that falls in the books of those born with a golden spoon. What they need to do is as Mark mentioned. Straight and to the point. And John highlighted it above further. Couldn’t agree more.

Kuwait’s urban areas are not designed for pedestrians. if i were to take that further, i would say kuwait itself is not designed for the comfort or convenience of anyone other than a very specific type of person.

some urban/suburban roads are massive despite a low population but a high number of (gigantic) personal vehicles, which is fine, but the sidewalks are nonexistant. the sidewalks have been hijacked for personal or public parking, leaving pedestrians to dance around moving and stationary vehicles. big SUVs completely obscure visibility so often you will see people appear on the road out of nowhere. there is also an ugly trend of building walls and gates around apartments which prevents pedestrians from taking a shortcut through them and instead having to go around the entire block, often on the road.

but it’s not just this, though, it’s all of kuwait. i think it was here that i saw a post about a pedestrian bridge with no wheelchair accessibility. that’s not just bad for wheelchair users but also for anyone that has any kind of luggage or equipment that can be rolled.

schools next to highways/main raods don’t have pedestrians bridges or appropriate speedbump-roadcrossings so they tend to be very dangerous for kids.

malls are not built with mass transport in mind (and that’s all we have in the summer).

i’ve only mentioned transport and urban problems but all of kuwait is very much designed for the convenience and comfort of a family that can afford multiple vehicles. any one outside that particular situation must suffer.

“schools next to highways/main raods don’t have pedestrians bridges or appropriate speedbump-roadcrossings so they tend to be very dangerous for kids.”

In Salmiya, Block 12 on Mugera Street after the Apollo Clinic Traffic Light on the road leading to the Fahaheel express way exit there are like 3 schools on either side of the road.

Last year a kid was struck by a car while she was crossing the street . Reason? The lady who was driving the vehicle was on the phone.

The MOI should really implement Zebra Crossings in front of school gates more than that they need to put in speed breakers on roads leading to and from the schools.

On this particular road there aren’t any speed breakers except a set before the U turns which isn’t enough because it leaves more than enough road open for drivers to speed up towards either the traffic light or the exit .

Putting a zebra crossing and double sets of speed breakers in front of the schools on either side of the roads will not only allow a safe gap for the kids to cross the street but will also prevent crazy drivers from using the stretch of road as their personal quarter mile strip to race their cars and bikes.

Zebra Crossing is totally unknown to most of the drivers in Kuwait, at least it`s meaning, or they choose to ignore it, which is even worse. You can clearly see it if you drive on Salem Al Mubarak St in Salmiya, the street has several Zebra Crossings, however it`s a Russian Roulette game using them.
Speed bumps/breakers might be the only solution used in conjunction with proper road signs.
It`s funny how they put up fences to prevent people to cross the very busy streets/highways, but you provide no alternative.
The bridge connecting Block 12 Salmiya with Jabriya was removed during the lockdown and never put up, lots of people used that bridge.
It feels like every decision taken in this country is on trial & error basis, never given a proper thought and analysis.

That’s because in the US we actually have sidewalks that people use and use them to keep safe from vehicles on the road. Same reason there is a bike lane (aka scooter lane?) … so the bike riders don’t run over the walking pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Not that strange really …. just sensical

I meant strange about the situation here not in the US. Instead of banning scooters on roads here they should have put more stringent rules protecting them from cars like having safe passing distances for vehicles going in the same direction and helmet requirements. US makes sense, not hating on them.

Mark you hit the nail on the head. A lot of these recent changes are intended to break the lower income expat population to the point where they give up and go home. By passing rules that seem reasonable on the surface but disrupt those unfortunate workers allows the the government to wash their hands of the expat problem without looking bad to the eyes of western countries.

As to the other comment about poor urban planning that is extremely true as well. Due to a lack of some sort of eminent domain law you end up have to fight around existing structures and roads to complete any project rather than offering a fair purchase price to the owner and then removing the building and completing the project in a sane and modern design.

Poor zoning practices and lack of enforcement of building standards results in the parking disaster we see around Kuwait where a new 25 story apartment tower with 100 3 bedroom apartments is constructed but only has maybe 10-12 parking spaces in front of it and then a crazy popular shop is built on the ground floor further exasperating the problem.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the huge amount of construction occurring throughout these expat areas for new giant towers yet the population of Kuwait is supposed to be trending down? Is there some sort of benefit these building owners are drawing from the government for massive empty investment projects?

It will be interesting to see the demographics of Kuwait in 5-10 years when supposedly all the unwanted expats will be gone.

If you want to talk about parking, even if buildings wanted to build enough parking they can’t because of archaic laws. I remember someone at Hamra Tower told me the original proposal for their parking lot was 11 floors but baladia rejected it and told them they could only build a 5 store lot. After a lot of back and forth, they gave them two extra floors which is how they now have a 7 floor parking lot (which is always full). If you check across the street the huge NBK tower has only a 5 floor parking lot which isn’t enough for their employees and I’m guessing because of the same issue.

I don’t understand the incentive to disapprove of a parking lot like that. In Trivandrum, Kerala (in India), I have a friend who wanted to build a multi storey parking but the muncipality rejected it because “it would disrupt the look of the area” which would have made sense if it were like 7 floors but it had three floors (trivandrum is a tiny city and in many areas the buildings are like 3-4 floors max). So my friend theorised that the kerala municipality wants to gain tax from leasing out public parking spaces on roads. but that wont hold in kuwait beacause kuwait doesnt tax car spaces at all right?!

a state of confusion. the state said they will get rid of half the expatriates, while construction for expat apartments continues. explanations appreciated.

If there are empty residential buildings now with the population at whatever it is then what is the purpose of building new buildings? Yes I know the way some of the so called “undesirable” expats living 8 or more to a single room might fill some of these apartments but if they are supposed to go away then where do the empty ones get filled? Seems like a massive waste of resources and more than likely Kuwaiti government funds that are being used to fund this construction.

It’s not like the building harris is suddenly going to start renting to Kuwaitis or other GCC nationals because he has a glut of empty flats when the law is always on their side at least in today’s legal climate.

They have already started renting in to Kuwaitis.
I currently live in Salmiya block 12, a really nice building which was restricted to only families of certain designations in the beginning. -3 years back.
During the pandemic, the owner didn’t want to subsidize and wanted on time rent.
Once the lockdown opened, almost 10 flats vacated, he sat with them empty for 2-3 months, now he has reduced the rent and is letting anyone take up the apartments. My floor has become a smoking hot box. I don’t even know who the neighbor is.

There will be less demand for new residential buildings once we have a significant drop in expat population. Majority of the people staying in these buildings are expats. Where will building owners get income from?

Rent prices would go down but people will continue to build residential buildings. If rent goes down then a lot of people will want to move to newer nicer apartments.

I was out and about searching for a new apartment.
I’ve lived close to 25 years in Salmiya so was looking out for apartments there.
But it was so sad to see these apartments.
The building is built as a 2 bhk with 2 kitchen and you begin to wonder why. Then the haris says they will build a wall and split this into 2.
That would make the apartment so damn small. I mean 2×2 bedroom 3×3 hall tiny kitchen and bathroom. 260kd rent like what the heck.
I don’t see the rents coming down in Salmiya. Since a lot of people moved into Salmiya after the lockdown.

I actually took advantage of such an opportunity and am moving out of Salmiya. Since that landlord slashed the rent in half. Making my spacious 1bhk in Salmiya be the size of only the hall of that apartment.
Plus this place now has all the amenities anyone would need.

when it comes to parking lots, even some of the newest hospitals dont have nearly enough parking. when it comes to sidewalks, its a complete and utter disaster and its not even safe to use ones bicycle here without the fear of getting run over due to the lack of bike paths. But as is always the case “if you dont like it, you should leave” seems to be the most common reply when one dares to point out anything about anything at all,,,,,,,,,and dont you dare compare it to Dubai or even KSA which incidentally enough just got approval to be a venue for the F1 races starting next year. Can you imagine the amount of logistics that goes into holding a proper F1 race, from tourist visas, to things to do, to having enough hotel rooms etc……and thats just one of around a dozen mega projects KSA is working on currently…..

Hi Mark. I heard they’re banning the scooter here because there were cases of injuries and accident because some people made it like a sport. They’re upgrading their scooters and do some racing like a sport which totally dangerous. It’s just so sad. I bought a scooter back then. It’s for work so I won’t have to go for bus or walk. I didn’t even buy a new one, I settled with second hand because its expensive. But this scooter helps me going to work and also gives me a little fun along the way.

poor urban planning is a euphemism for corruption.

Think about it, no sidewalks in one of the highest income countries, and low hand labour.

Hi guy’s Im from the UK here as well the ban is up but there is a trial companies going on where u need to have license and insurance to drive an escooter … Which is very well said and only above 18yrs children or adults can ride them… So having as well cycle lanes is the problem here in Kuwait … So if you have lanes for the cycles and escooter it can be solved and with that a rule to have insurance and wearing helmets and safety gears for driving the escooter would solve the issue atleast for the trial to see how effective it is…

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