Dubai: Dubai Police on Wednesday warned parents against allowing their children under the age of 10 to be seated in the car’s rear seats without being buckled in a child seat.

Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of the police’s Traffic Department, said the police have fined 140 motorists in the last 14 months for violating this rule. Four children under the age of 10 died in traffic accidents last year and 75 were injured, said Brigadier Al Mazroui, who stressed that all children under 10 should be put in a child seat and restrained by the seatbelt when being seated in the rear of the vehicle. This must be followed till the child becomes as tall as 145cm.

“Parents put their children at risk when they let them sit on the rear seat [without the child seat].”

Brigadier Al Mazroui said reports in the UAE reveal that traffic accidents are the main cause of children’s deaths, apart from cases of children falling from buildings and drowning.

“[Buckling them up in child seats] can reduce the impact of a traffic accident but when the child is left [unrestrained] in the back seat, any minor accident can injure the child,” Brigadier Al Mazroui added.

At the same time, seating children under the age of 10 in the front seat of a vehicle will lead to a fine of Dh400 and four black points against the driver.

Other precautions parents must take to ensure their child’s safety are monitoring children’s behaviour inside the vehicle and locking all doors and windows so that children cannot be tempted to put their head or hands outside when the vehicle is moving.

He also warned parents against smoking in the car when children are present. This violation carries a fine of Dh500, which goes up to Dh10,000 if they are caught repeating the violation.

Thomas Edelman, CEO of RoadSafetyUAE, told Gulf News that parents must show their love for their children not by saying how much they love them but by taking every step to protect them at all times.

“If you love your children, then buckle them up in the back seat and never allow them to sit on rear seats [without restraining devices] especially if they are under the age of 10,” Edelman told Gulf News.

He added that to date, there is no holistic seat belt law in place in the UAE. “We sincerely hope the law will be implemented soon. In the interim, it is up to us to always buckle up our kids,” Edelman said. “Often, we see children seated in the car’s rear without seat belts, moving about freely when the car is in motion, sitting on the laps of older passengers or even in the lap of the driver. All of this must stop,” Edelman said.

Dos and don’ts

  1. Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to ride in the front seat of a vehicle.
  2. Always use proper restraining devices for your child (child seats, booster cushions).
  3. Never allow kids to move about freely inside the car.
  4. Do not allow your child to sit on the lap of any passengers or the driver.