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Focus: Children and car safety

How often have you seen children in a car playing in the backseat, dangling out of windows or simply not buckled up? Despite several awareness campaigns, UAE residents fail to ensure children are safely seated in cars. The consequences can also be dire – 63 per cent of deaths in the country among children up to the age of 14 are due to road accidents, according to Dubai Health Authority. What is the solution? Join the debate.

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15:34 Gulf News: Are fines effective in changing people’s behaviour? Should there be a fine for not buckling up children in the backseat?

15:37 Suman Shafi: Yes, there should be a fine. Because even after so many awareness campaigns on the issue parents continue to act carelessly.

15:37 Asha Mathew: Yes, it is a difficult situation that we are facing right now. Parents are still unaware about the dangers, they presume they will always be safe, this is an other person’s problem. It is only when they have a bad experience do they realise it is a mistake not buckling up.

15:37 Sandhya Shetty: No, instead of imposing a fine it is important that people are made aware by way of print advertisements [about the dangers of not buckling up]. Here, the media can play a pivotal role in highlighting the dangers. Like the sayin goes, “seeing is believing”. There are a lot of people who are still ignorant and need to be educated.

15:38 Rohan Kapur: I think it is very important that children are buckled up tight. Nowadays, parents have become too carefree and children often play on the backseats of a car. Parents don’t realise th danger until the child gets injured or there is a near miss.

15:38 Suman Shafi: Fines are just a way to make the public pay for an act that will teach them a lesson in a hope that they will not do it the next time. But fines do not work in such cases. Instead, if the parents see an accident, they may realise that something like that could happen to their child, too. Then, they may start taking initiatives for themselves and also their family.

15:41 Disha Bobby: When money matters are involved people get a lot more cautious. For every parent, their child is the center of their existence, but in spite of this feeling, a child is left unbuckled in the back seat or at times is sitting on the passenger seat.

15:42 Lodhi Azmat Allah: No fines should be imposed for not buckling up children in the backseats. I understand that child safety is the first priority but we cannot tie up small children for long in a car. Elders should take proper care while sitting with children. Fines don’t solve the problem. Proper care should be taken by parents to ensure the safety of children.

15:44 Sandhya Shetty: Honestly, except for a few of us who ardently use child safety seats, I have seen ghastly scenarios like a child sitting on the lap of the father or mother. Isn’t this simply throwing caution to the winds? What is the use of crying later over spilt milk? But, I still beleive educating people is what is required more than a fine.

15:52 Lodhi Azmat Allah: There are millions of cars in Dubai. From all the people who carry children in cars that are unbuckled in the backseats, only a few cases are detected and highlighted. But the most important thing is the responsibility of the parents to take proper care of their children and the need to take extra precautions while children are in the car. It is a joint effort.

15:58 Gulf News: Why do people not buckle up children while driving? Is it a lack of education or do people just not comprehend the danger?

16:00 Sandhya Shetty: People do not comprehend the danger because they are just oblivoius to the danger or they have never heard or read about the dire consequences of not buckling up.

16:00 Suman Shafi: I believe people are being careless because they simply don’t care. Those who drive believe they are good drivers and won’t harm anyone. It could be because they are not fully educated or that they are simply being careless.

16:00 Asha Mathew: If anyone can experience the horrible impact of losing lives, seeing your loved ones get hurt or being in a desperate situation, then they will be more alert and quick to decide on the right precautions to take. Schools can help by conducting awareness programmes for children. It is time for children to teach their parents or elders.

16:02 Disha Bobby: Parents are aware of the danger of not buckling their children up, but experience teaches you lessons that you do not forget. However, this is an issue that could lead to fatalities, so the best option is to have videos or live demonstrations.

16:04 Masooma Abidi: People don’t really pay attention. They concentrate more on driving than looking at their children. It is not a lack of education.

16:05 Suman Shafi: Teach the parents, educate the children, make the child a source of educating their parent, put up live demonstrations, run campaigns ... anything that helps bring the entire situation to life. Something to show the parent that this can happen with them, too.

16:09 Asha Mathew: I think all are aware but just plain lazy and, like I mentioned, they don’t think that anyone can be involved in an accident.

16:09 Rohan Kapur: In my opinion, people do not buckle up children because they do not comprehend the consequences.

16:11 Suman Shafi: I do not understand why a parent would not want to look after their child if they are taking him or her out with them. Do they think children can look after themselves or are parents just too busy to check on their child? The mother or passenger can look after the child. Instead of sitting in the passenger seat, he or she can sit behind with the child.

— Compiled by Huda Tabrez/
Community Web Editor