Renewed Focus on Road Safety for Children
Dubai Police have reiterated the importance of road safety, especially for children. As the New Year begins, they remind motorists that toddlers and young children must be secured in car seats while traveling. This message is particularly crucial for parents, as ensuring children are securely seated is key to their safety.
Survey Reveals Alarming Trends
A survey conducted last year highlighted concerning statistics: 33% of parents in the UAE do not have proper car seats for their children. Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, emphasized that child car safety begins from birth, and parents are responsible for establishing these safety habits. Since 2017, the UAE’s Seat Belt Law mandates the use of child seats for children aged 0-4 years.
Guidelines and Enforcement
Proper child restraint systems are essential until age 4, including rear-facing and later, front-facing seats. For children aged 5-10 years, booster seats and cushions are necessary to prevent the seat belt from harming the child’s neck. The survey also found that 30% of parents who own car seats do not always ensure their children are buckled up. The top reasons for not securing children include discomfort, perceived unnecessary on short trips, and overconfidence in driving safely.
UAE’s Seat Belt Regulations
In the UAE, all car passengers, including those in the rear seats, are required to wear seat belts. Drivers face a Dh400 fine and four black points for non-compliance. Children up to four years must be in a child safety seat, and front seat passengers must be at least 145 cm tall and not younger than 10 years old.
The Need for Enhanced Parental Education
Edelmann stresses the need for further educating parents as key stakeholders in road safety. He suggests stronger enforcement around schools and kindergartens and advocates for a mandatory newborn hospital discharge policy to be embedded in the child protection law. Infant car seats, designed to form a protective cocoon in a crash, are crucial for safeguarding a child’s spine and vital parts during an impact.
This campaign by Dubai Police and RoadSafetyUAE highlights the critical need for awareness and adherence to child safety regulations to ensure the well-being of young passengers on the roads.
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