Parents in UAE still need to do more to ensure safety, road expert says
Dubai Police warn motorists: safest place for a child is buckled up in the back
Parents in the UAE need to do more to ensure their children are not jumping around while playing in moving cars.
That was the view of a leading road safety expert who welcomed Dubai Police’s warning that children should always sit in the back of cars.
Dubai Police tweeted on Friday that “the back seat is the safest place for children to sit”.
Thomas Edelman, managing director of Road Safety UAE, said that while the statement may seem obvious it is not always adhered to.
“I fully agree that back seats are the safest place for children in cars but they must have the appropriate seats depending on their age as well,” he said.
He said the UAE had a serious problem with children jumping around while playing in moving cars.
“This was something I had never encountered anywhere else in the world but it was because the UAE did not have a law on people in the back seat wearing seatbelts until 2017,” he said.
He said the introduction of the new law, last year, has went some way to increasing level of safety but old habits die hard.
Road Safety UAE research - as the new law was introduced last year - found that some drivers were still happy to drive around with their children not wearing any seatbelts.
“Some of the reasons we heard were ‘my kids don’t like buckling up’, ‘I am a safe driver so my children don’t need to wear seatbelts in the back seat’ or ‘I am only driving a short distance so they don’t have to put a seatbelt on’,” he said.
“Before the law was introduced, it was difficult for Dubai Police to make people ensure their children wear seatbelts but now there is no excuse for it.”
Under the law, car owners can be fined Dh400, and receive four black points on their licence, if someone is not wearing a seatbelt in the back seat.