20220411 back to school abu dhabi
Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Are you aware of the steps you should follow if you pick up and drop off your children to school? While school drop-offs can be hectic, it is extremely important to make sure you do not skip any safety steps, to ensure school zones stay accident free.

On September 25, Abu Dhabi Police shared an advisory for parents, with four simple steps that can help keep your children safe.

4 rules to follow when picking children up from school

Here’s how parents can ensure that children board the car safely:

1. Make sure the child is sitting in the backseat, if he or she is 10 years old or younger.
2. Always help the child get into the vehicle.
3. Ensure that the child gets into the vehicle from the back door facing the sidewalk.
4. Make sure you fasten their seat belt.

5 driving rules to follow around school zones, buses

The UAE’s Federal Traffic Law has several Articles that regulate how motorists should behave when driving around school zones or when they see a school bus on the road. Here are the top traffic rules you should keep in mind:

1. Speed limits around school zones

Speed limits in school zones are usually lower than speed limits for other areas of a city, keeping in mind the safety of children who may be crossing the road. Several areas also have interactive speed signs, which encourage motorists to abide by the speed limits. If you do get caught by a radar while you are driving above the set limit, you can end up paying fines ranging from Dh300 to Dh3,000.

2. Always stop for a school bus ‘stop sign’

School buses in the UAE, which can be distinguished by their yellow colour, have stop signs installed on them, which pop out from the side of the bus whenever a child is about to get off. Come to a complete stop whenever the ‘stop’ sign is put up by the bus driver and keep at least a minimum distance of five metres to ensure safe and secure crossing of students. According to Abu Dhabi police, violators will be fined Dh1,000 in addition to receiving 10 black points.

Since 2021, school buses in Abu Dhabi have also been equipped with cameras that can catch violators trying to drive past the bus while the stop sign has been put up. The requirement to stop applies to all cars that may be behind the bus (on multiple lane roads) as well as cars coming from the opposite direction.

3. Children sitting in the front seat

If you are dropping your children off at school, you should always make sure that they are sitting in the backseat. As per the Federal Traffic laws Article 49, front seat passengers should also be at least 145cm tall and not younger than 10 years old. In Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s traffic laws also stipulate that violators will have their cars impounded, with the need to pay Dh5,000 to have the car released.

4. No seatbelt

Even if your children are sitting in the back, you need to ensure they are safely seated. According to Ministerial Resolution No. 178 of 2017 regarding traffic control rules, children up to the age of four years are required to be in a child safety seat, while older children need to be seated in the back, with the seat belt fastened. Parents who allow children to sit in car’s rear seat without a child seat will be fined Dh400.

5. Not giving way to pedestrians

When driving around a school zone, not only do you have to ensure you stay within the speed limit, but you also need to drive carefully and stop whenever you see a pedestrian waiting at a crossing. Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing will lead to a fine of Dh500 and six black points.