ARE YOUR PAPERS IN ORDER ?

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    It is a good feeling to drive off with your own, or even a friend’s car borrowed for the day. The next best thing is to hire a car from one of the dozens of rent-a-car outlets spread all over the Kingdom [Adliya alone has 15 of them]. But have you ever visualised the scenario when, as you are cruising along a stretch of aquamarine sea with your wife and children or perhaps a group of office colleagues or friends, a traffic policeman in uniform flags you down? And even as you come to a stop completely puzzled as to what mistake or crime you might have committed, he requests you to show him your driving license?
    Imagine your consternation when the traffic policeman returns your license with a grimace and asks you to report at the Traffic Directorate. You cannot believe your ears when he tells you that your license has expired three months ago!
    ● Never drive without a license.
    ● Never drive with a suspended license.
    ● Never drive with an expired license.
    While it is against the law to drive a vehicle without a license – a practice quite prevalent (unfortunately) among a section of society whose members time and again fail the road test but are keen to drive a vehicle – it is no less illegal to drive one with an expired license. And as for driving with a suspended license – which means the driver must have committed some grave mistake – it is the worse of the three scenarios.
    If you are renting a car, then do not just sign the papers and drive off. You must make sure that the registration and insurance of the vehicle is valid. In fact, if you drive with an expired or suspended licensee you might get away with a fine, but if you get involved in an accident while the insurance of your vehicle has expired, you might be in big trouble; if you cause the death of a person you might be ruined paying the insurance dues of the deceased.
    The rent-a-car companies generally keep their papers in order but if you are borrowing a friend’s car you must double check that its insurance and registration are valid. And finally, for your own safety, you
    must keep a small fire extinguisher in the car, preferably within reach under the front passenger’s seat. You may consider this as a cumbersome item and an unnecessary expense but it will pay for itself if, God forbid, you are in urgent need of it even once. It might save your vehicle and maybe even your life.