x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Seat belt laws are overdue - but will they be enforced?

This law is long overdue (Seat belts mandatory for children by 2011, February 25). But will it be enforced?

One reader laments the fact that children, who are here seen without seat belts, may still continue to ride in cars without seat belts despite a new law that has been passed.
One reader laments the fact that children, who are here seen without seat belts, may still continue to ride in cars without seat belts despite a new law that has been passed.

This law is long overdue (Seat belts mandatory for children by 2011, February 25). But will it be enforced? I believe there is a law against using mobile phones, but many seem to ignore it. There is already a law against children travelling in the front seats of cars, but I regularly see babies on their mothers' laps in the front of cars. This lack of enforcement makes a mockery of the law. Charles C, Dubai

Something not mentioned here is the injuries caused to children who are not restrained in non-accidents or close calls. What about some statistics on the number of children received in hospitals where the child was injured because mummy or daddy had to stop suddenly because of some other idiot driver? How many kids get teeth knocked out or broken noses when daddy slams on the brakes and sends unsuspecting junior into the DVD screen in the headrest? How many kids cause an accident because they are standing up in the vehicle? The other day, I saw a man on Najda Street with his daughter standing up in the back seat with the window open and her head partially out of it. I really wanted to say something but traffic was moving. As a father of three, I know how hard it can be to make kids sit down and stay buckled up. But it just has to be done. Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Regarding Shoppers flee as mall aquarium springs leak, (February 25): it's not a big deal. In extreme engineering projects, there is a possibility of small issues as these projects are "first of its kind" projects. The whole mall was vacated but there was no need to do so as a small opening in the joint would not have caused big catastrophe. However, it helps to be more cautious. I hope it is back to normal operation soon as the city is full of tourists and this aquarium is a must see. Sal Sal, Dubai

Last week's ruling by the European Court of Justice that Israeli goods made in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank cannot be considered Israeli is a slap in the face for the Likud government.

The ruling means that goods made by Israelis in the West Bank illegal settlements cannot benefit from the EU concession that gives Israel preferential access to EU markets. Israeli goods from these settlements will now be subject EU customs duty, making them less competitive. Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal. The importance of this ruling is the clarity of the message it sends: that Israel must dismantle all settlements in the West Bank as they are not, and cannot be, part of Israel.

The danger for the Israel is that unless it complies in full with the provisions of the EU-Israel Association Agreement (of which it is in breach), then there is the possibility that the agreement will be abrogated on grounds of non-compliance, in which case all trade concessions could be withdrawn. As the EU is Israel's principal bilateral trading partner, such an action would be detrimental to Israel's economy and it would, under such a scenario, probably have no option but to rely on a massive increase in US aid. But it is doubtful that this would be forthcoming either under the Obama or any future US presidency. G Driver, UK

The foundation courses run by the universities do have to end or should at least be outsourced to another body (How can we improve the education system? February 25). It's sad to see that federal universities had to cut and scrape at all academic ends to be able to accommodate these foundation programs.

However, to put all the blame on the primary and secondary education is not right as well. What needs to be done is to give parents higher responsibilities. How are children supposed to learn proper Arabic or English if they spend half or more time in the care of maids? Don't take the second step before the first. Try looking at home before blaming outside bodies for the damage. Annett Schoenfeld, Abu Dhabi