Dubai Police on Wednesday warned parents against allowing their children under the age of 10 to be seated in the car’s rear seats without being buckled in a child seat.
According to the police officials,
- All children under 10 should be put in a child seat and restrained by the seatbelt when being seated in the rear of the vehicle.
- This must be followed till the child becomes as tall as 145cm.
Dubai Police have fined 140 motorists in the last 14 months for violating this rule, Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of the police’s Traffic Department, revealed to Gulf News. Four children under the age of 10 died in traffic accidents last year and 75 were injured, he added.
Despite repeated warnings and the prospect of causing death or serious injury to their child, the sight of mothers and fathers sat in the front passenger seat cradling a baby or a toddler in their lap is all too common.
Holding a child is a natural instinct for loving parents, but it can also be a deadly mistake. Often the parent is wearing a seat belt, but the child is unrestrained leaving them dangerously vulnerable to serious injury or even death even at low speeds.
Things to keep in mind
- Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to ride in the front seat of a vehicle.
- Always use proper restraining devices for your child (child seats, booster cushions).
- Never allow kids to move about freely inside the car.
- Do not allow your child to sit on the lap of any passengers or the driver
In the UAE, traffic accidents are the main cause of children’s deaths, apart from cases of children falling from buildings and drowning. Parents put their children at risk when they let them sit on the rear seat without the child seat.
Fines for violations
- Seating children under the age of 10 in the front seat of a vehicle will lead to a fine of Dh400 and four black points against the driver.
- Smoking in the car when children are present carries a fine of Dh500, which goes up to Dh10,000 if they are caught repeating the violation.
In 2015 the World Health Organisation recommended the UAE introduce a law that makes child car seats compulsory, as well as seat belts for all occupants.
The correct use of car seats can reduce the likelihood of deaths by 70 per cent in infants, and by 54 to 80 per cent among young children, the WHO said.
Other precautions parents must take to ensure their child’s safety are monitoring children’s behaviour inside the vehicle and locking all doors and windows so that children cannot be tempted to put their head or hands outside when the vehicle is moving.