Cyclists urge bike lanes for safety on Kuwait’s streets

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: Over the last few years, usage of bicycles in Kuwait has significantly increased. Despite this increasing popularity, Kuwait’s roads remain largely unfriendly to cyclists. This lack of infrastructure for bicycles creates a dangerous environment for cyclists, where they have to compete with motor vehicles for space on the road. Therefore, creating bike lanes in Kuwait is necessary to provide a safe and convenient mode of transportation for cyclists.
It will not only reduce the risks faced by cyclists, but will also contribute towards reducing traffic congestion and pollution and promoting healthier lifestyles amongst people. Thus, the government needs to prioritize the creation of bike lanes and encourage people to make use of this ecofriendly mode of transportation. This will be an investment in the future wellbeing of Kuwait’s people and the environment.
Batoul Al-Abdullah, a cyclist who is a member of bike mate team, told Kuwait Times: “Lack of bicycle lanes in Kuwait poses a big challenge for us as cyclists, besides the lack of people’s awareness about cyclists’ safety and security. This puts us at high risk of accidents and danger.”
The primary reason for creating bike lanes in Kuwait’s streets is to ensure the safety of cyclists. Cyclists are exposed to significant risks when sharing the road with motor vehicles because drivers may not always be aware of the presence of a cyclist or may not respect the distance that should be maintained between their vehicle and the bike. The creation of dedicated bike lanes will prevent cyclists from being hit by or involved in accidents with motor vehicles, making their cycling experience safer.

Fahad Al-Abduljader

In this regard, Fahad Al-Abduljader, member of the Municipal Council, said that it is worth noting that the Kuwaiti traffic law has focused on addressing some problems related to bicycle lanes. For example, article 148 of ministerial decision no. 81 of 1976 regarding the executive regulations of traffic law no. 67 of 1976 states: “The cyclist must keep to the right side of the road and is prohibited from riding on the pavement. When a dedicated path is available, they must use it and cannot leave it.”
“However, some still see an unjustified obstruction by cars, and a lack of concern from drivers for these cyclists, who have been repeatedly involved in accidents, some resulting in fatalities. As a result, many cycling enthusiasts have resorted to cycling on Sheikh Jaber Causeway at dawn to avoid accidents and over fears of drivers not paying attention to them,” he said.
Moreover, Abduljader said avoiding bicycle accidents requires a comprehensive project that is not limited to dedicated paths. “If bike lanes are established without taking other steps, we will limit cycling to short lanes that do not serve the purpose. This will also prevent national and professional teams from practicing this activity on the roads, especially as they need long and open paths. Although bike lanes are suitable for amateurs, an increase in cyclists will transfer collisions from the streets to the lanes, and from cyclists and cars to cyclists themselves, which is no less dangerous than other accidents. Therefore, it is necessary to follow pioneering experiences in the region to achieve happiness, entertainment, physical and mental health for citizens and residents, and to encourage sports and entertainment activities while providing the highest level of guarantees for road safety,” he added.

The post Cyclists urge bike lanes for safety on Kuwait’s streets appeared first on Kuwait Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *