x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emirati students’ car-seat safety film wins award

The low budget movie aims to encourage Emirati and expatriate parents to fix the seats in their vehicles to help protect their children.

Still shot from the video made by  Ruwais Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in the Al Gharbia region. Courtesy HCT
Still shot from the video made by Ruwais Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in the Al Gharbia region. Courtesy HCT

DUBAI// Three students have won an award for their short film promoting the use of child seats in cars.

The three-minute movie aims to encourage Emiratis and expatriates to use the restraints to help protect their little ones.

The three student filmmakers, all Emiratis, have now been awarded the first Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) Road Safety Student Award.

The film was picked as a winner at the Gulf Traffic Awards gala dinner, part of the Gulf Traffic Conference 2013, on Monday night.

“We wanted to use emotions to move people,” said Noora Al Mansoori, 22, a student at the Ruwais Higher Colleges of Technology in Al Gharbia.

“Most of us use cars and most of us are from large families, where there are a minimum of five children.

“Even newborns are brought from hospitals without car seats.

“Most people think it is not important to use a car seat and neglect it as it takes up too much space. We want to change that thinking.”

Ms Al Mansoori is a fourth-year business administration student in human resource management. She made the film with Mariam Al Mansoori, 23, and Albanoot Al Mansouri, 22.

Their film, which is on YouTube, shows three children between the ages of 7 and 11 holding placards that state they do not feel safe travelling to school or visiting friends without car seats.

“Our teacher gave us the idea of using children to spread the message and get the attention of adults,” Noora said. “They are the ones causing the problem, not the children.”

Mariam said awareness and education were integral to getting people to use child seats.

“My sister was given a free car seat by Corniche Hospital in Abu Dhabi when she had a baby but she doesn’t use it,” she said.

“It is important to give education and awareness. She is now considering buying a bigger car so she can use the car seat.”

The students said it took two days to plan, shoot and edit the film, which has been viewed more than 220 times.

Their video was chosen from 26 team entries by 250 students from across the country.

Simon Labbett, director of TRL UAE, said: “This is the first award of its kind that recognises students’ thinking and intellectual contribution to road safety in the region and will hopefully encourage many students in years to come to be involved in the transport field.”

pkannan@thenational.ae