The authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are taking seriously child safety in the cars, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai police issuing fines to black points to those who put the lives of their children ids in danger.
Colonel Saif Mohair Al Mazroui, Director of the General Department of Traffic, Dubai, has said that though there is no law, they recommend to fix the child seat for the children’s safety.
He insisted that all children must be restrained by a seatbelt. “Allowing children under 10 years of age to sit in the front seat of a vehicle will incur a fine of Dh400 and 4 traffic points.”
The traffic law in Dubai was implemented in 2008. “The decision of Dubai police regarding fastening seatbelt is according to the federal traffic law. It has been noted that it is of great importance to use the seat belt as it reduces the number of deaths due to traffic accidents,” Al Mazroui says.
Abu Dhabi police fined drivers AED 400 and added 4 black points to their traffic record in the first quarter of 2015 for allowing children below 10 years of age to sit in the front seat.
The penalties are in line with new federal traffic laws that include tougher punishment for most offences as a part of a drive by the police to bring discipline to roads.
Colonel Jamal Al Amiri, head of the public relations section at Abu Dhabi’s traffic police, says: “We call on parents not to allow their children to sit in the front seat or behind the wheel. The children should not be allowed to pop their heads out of the window while the car is moving. These behaviors are very dangerous.” He cited studies showing that children account for nearly 11% of road deaths and 70% of road accident injuries. Studies reveal that 14,702 seatbelt offences were recorded in Abu Dhabi between January 1 and March 17, 2015, and that those penalties are applicable to them. “If it is used properly, the seatbelt reduces death risks by 40%-65%. This should be a sufficient motive for drivers and passengers to use seat belts,” according to Colonel Jamal Al Amiri.
Advantage if seatbelt
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of fatality among front-seat passengers by 40%-50%, and among rear-seat car passengers by 25%-75%.
If a vehicle is travelling at 120 kilometres per hour, its contents and passengers also are moving at 120 km/hour. A sudden stop or head-on collision can mean the difference of life or death to the passengers wearing seatbelts.
During a collision, passengers who are not buckled will fly toward the point of impact, colliding with anything in their path such as dashboards, windshield or steering wheels with several pounds of moving force.
Since children are smaller in size, the regular car-seats cannot restrict them during collision. Therefore, it is important to seat them in age-appropriate car-seats so that risk of injury is reduced.
It is advised that infants must be strapped in rear-facing car-seats designed especially for their height and weight. Most infant car-seats in the market cater to babies up to one-year-old, and weighs at least 13 kilograms.
Toddlers, aged between one and four years, will need to be shifted into the next seat that is bigger and can accommodate weight up to 18 kilograms and their height.
The booster seat is the next stage, for children aged between four and six. The elevated seating is right for adult car-seat belts, and also provides the children with a cushioned back. This would work for children until they reach a height of about 145 centimetres.
Booster cushions are the final option for children aged 6 to 11 years and weighing between 22 and 36 kilograms.
Speeding for fun
A survey conducted by Road Safety UAE and insurer Zurich states that 53% of the population that undertook a road safety survey revealed they speed “for fun or to impress others.”
The other two top reasons why motorists in the UAE speed are “running late” (at 67%) and “out of habit” (at 45%), the company said in a survey of 1,005 motorists across the UAE.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai police have installed laws and penalties to stop speeding.
In all, 15% of the respondents said they believe that they are unlikely to be caught, 5% claims that speeding fines are too low. Statistics show that speeding is one of the major factors that cause road fatalities.