Specters on the Streets of Kuwait – Investigative Bloggerism

Specter – A ghostly appearing figure, is not an uncommon sight on the streets of Kuwait.

Apparitions dressed in long flowing gowns of white, grey, black and beige, dashing across the streets on Kuwait, catching unsuspecting motorists unaware. The slamming of the breaks, the squeal of tires on the cold tarmac road, a lifeless creature of black and pebble, is frequently heard by those within its immediate vicinity.

These specters however have yet to be called ghosts, for they are of the living, despite risking their lives on a daily basis to cross the street, whether it be to get a taxi or catch the bus in the early morning, or return home in the late evening.

This long stretch of road is perilous, in the dark it is almost impossible to make out these shadowy figures as they dart across the streets, more often than not resulting in fatalities. The reason being there is no pedestrian bridge in the area, despite it being residential.


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I am referring to the Airport Road, or route 55 in Kuwait, which runs from Shuwaikh near the intersection with Jahra road, all the way down to the Airport roundabout, crossing several areas in between.

There are exactly 3 pedestrian bridges on this road, two are near Khaldiya, between Jahra Road and 3rd Ring Road, then between 3rd Ring Road and 4th Ring Road. The final one is after you cross the 4th Ring Road, where Yarmouk is to your left. After you cross beneath the 5th Ring Road, there are no more pedestrian bridges, despite Farwaniya and Khaitan being there. The residents are forced to cross the street on foot for lack of proper crossing methods, and what is the result? This:

KUWAIT CITY, March 23: The Criminal Section in the Court of Appeals upheld the verdict of a lower court, which acquitted a Kuwaiti woman of causing the death of two children when her car ran over them while they were crossing the Airport Road on their way home from school.
Attorney Bassam Al-Asousi, the woman’s lawyer, said his client is deeply sorry for the death of the children but she denied any wrongdoing.  He pointed out the children did not use the pedestrian bridge on the main road where the minimum speed is 80 kilometers per hour; thereby, putting their lives in danger.  He argued the woman was not driving beyond the speed limit and she did not expect anyone to cross the road, since there is a pedestrian bridge in the area.  She tried to avoid hitting the children, but it was too late because they appeared on the road suddenly, leading to their death, he added.

(link)

The peculiar incident regarding the tragedy above is that I directly know a person who witnessed it. The deaths occurred near Khaitan/ Farwaniya area, where there are no pedestrian bridges. The speed limit up to Yarmouk is 80km/h MAX (meaning 100km/h MAX) after Yarmouk, the speed limit becomes 100km/h to its end (meaning 120km/h MAX). That is where you find most people crossing the street, in the area where the speed becomes 100km/h.

Regardless of where you choose to live, life is precious. Preserve it.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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