x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Road safety experts urge child car seat law change

The introduction of a compulsory child-seat law was discussed at a federal level in March this year.

Seven out of 10 fatal injuries that claimed the lives of children in Abu Dhabi between 2008 and 2010 were caused by car crashes.

The introduction of a compulsory child-seat law was discussed at a federal level in March this year.

In July 2011, the Ministry of Interior sought a new law making the use of child seats for infants and booster seats for children under the age of 11 compulsory.

Yet still it is only recommended that child seats are used until age four and booster seats until age eight. Children under 10 are banned from the front seat, with a Dh400 fine and four black points for drivers who break this law.

“The dangers in delaying legislation are obvious,” said Britta Lang, a principal road-safety scientist at the Transport Research Laboratory, a British consultancy. “By condoning the non-use of child seats you’re putting more children at risk because it’s something you can do without breaking the law.

“If you put legislation in place you send a signal to society that this is a safety feature that is worth considering, that is worth taking seriously and that is worth using.”

Even without laws, parents must take action, said Sawsan Rajeh, 35, a mother-of-four from Jordan.

“All people know that they save their children’s lives,” she said. ”People my age have studied at university and know the importance of car seats.”

azacharias@thenational.ae