UAE imposes Dh400 fine and four black points for violating child safety in vehicles
As the UAE steps into the New Year, authorities are delivering a crucial reminder to motorists, particularly parents, to prioritize road safety. The focus is on ensuring the secure use of car seats for toddlers and young passengers.
A recent survey uncovered a concerning statistic, as one in three parents in the UAE does not possess proper car seats for their children.
UAE Roads Authorities Stress the Importance of Car Seats
Dubai Police took to Twitter, urging parents to make safety a priority and emphasizing that the well-being of little ones starts with securely seating them in car seats. The message is clear: safety measures for children should be a paramount consideration for parents and caregivers.
Importance of Child Car Safety
Thomas Edelmann, founder of RoadSafetyUAE, stresses the crucial role of parents in establishing proper safety habits right from birth. The UAE Seat Belt Law, implemented in 2017, mandates the use of child seats for children aged 0–4 years. Rear-facing child seats are recommended for infants, transitioning to front-facing seats as they grow. From ages 5 to 10, booster seats and cushions are essential to ensure proper seat belt positioning.
Survey Insights and Parental Challenges
The survey, which YouGov conducted for RoadSafetyUAE and Cybex, identified the causes of child car seat non-ownership. Factors included a lack of knowledge on what to buy, resistance from children, and the perceived high cost of car seats. Notably, even among parents who own proper child car seats, about 30% do not consistently ensure their children buckle up.
Regulatory Requirements and Penalties
UAE regulations stipulate that all passengers, including those in the rear seat, must wear seat belts. Violations result in fines and penalties, with a Dh400 fine and four black points for non-compliance. Children up to four years old must use child safety seats.
Call for Education and Enforcement
To address the challenges revealed by the survey, Edelmann advocates for further education, especially in schools and kindergartens. He proposes a mandatory newborn hospital discharge policy as a federal law, embedded in the child protection law.
Emphasizing the importance of infant car seats, Edelmann describes them as designed to create a protective cocoon during crashes, safeguarding a baby's well-being. Infant car seats play a vital role in minimizing potential injuries during collisions.
Strengthening Child Safety Measures
As concerted efforts are needed to enhance education and enforcement, with parents identified as key stakeholders. Strengthening child safety measures around schools, promoting mandatory policies, and embedding regulations in the child protection law are crucial steps to ensure the well-being of young passengers on UAE roads.