x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Two ways to keep safe

Attitudes towards safety at home and on road has to change to prevent unnecessary tragedies.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Properties’ commendable decision to retrofit 40,000 high-rise homes with safety devices to prevent children falling to their deaths will save lives. But this kind of equipment, restricting how far windows and balcony doors can open, is only part of the solution, because how people think also has to change.

Just take the example of the rain in the UAE this week. Most of the cars on the roads here are fitted with a wide range of safety equipment, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes and the like, yet the failure of drivers to moderate their speed and driving style during the downpour explains why Dubai police were responding to an accident every two minutes.

This is why there has to be a two-pronged approach to safety. The environment has to be made as safe as possible, whether it is child latches on high-rise windows or well-engineered roads and modern cars fitted with passive-safety devices.

But the attitude towards safety also has to change. Parents need to ensure children are properly supervised at all times and drivers need to drive to the conditions. Only then will we make progress.