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Ajman Police have launched an awareness campaign to remind motorists that those caught violating the UAE Traffic Law will be issued with a Dh400 fine. Image Credit: Courtesy: Ajman Police

Sharjah: Police in the UAE are cracking down against careless drivers who allow children to sit in the front seat.

Ajman Police have launched an awareness campaign to remind motorists that those caught violating the UAE Traffic Law will be issued with a Dh400 fine.

Ajman Police explained that children below 145cm and younger than 10 years old are not permitted to sit in the front, and should always be safely secured and fastened with a seat belt. “If an accident takes place and the child is not wearing the seat belt, they can be thrown with a force that is similar to falling from the 10th floor,” the police said.

Police have stressed the need for drivers to install car seats in their vehicles to ensure the safety of children. The Federal Traffic Law indicates that safety seats are mandatory for children under the age of four.

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. Parents who allow children to sit in car’s rear seat without child seat will be fined Dh400.

Seat belts

Ajman Police said that the seat belt rule is also applicable drivers as well as passengers according to Federal Law Article 49. The traffic department of Ajman police recorded a number of violations related to child seats as well as seat belts. “Parents put their children at risk when they let them sit either in front seat or in the rear seat [without the child seat].”

Reports reveal that traffic accidents are the main cause of children’s deaths in the UAE, 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,” police said.

Dos and don’ts
* Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to ride in the front seat of a vehicle.
* Always use proper restraining devices for your child (child seats, booster cushions).
* Never allow children to move about freely inside the car.
* Do not allow your child to sit on the lap of any passenger or 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.

How car seats protect children

Parents should not carry babies while sitting in the front seat nor let children sit in front as they are the first casualties in the event of a crash. A terrifying impact from behind can hurl babies on mothers’ laps through the windshield. If it’s a head-on collision and the airbag deploys, it can crush the baby’s head, immediately causing death.

Car seats form a protective cocoon for infants during accidents. Rear-facing car seats will absorb the front-impact and its shell and cushion protect the spine and vital parts of the baby. The seat belt also prevents the baby from being thrown off inside the vehicle.

Young children have a smaller build and should be in child car seats as regular car seat belts cannot offer the same protection and restraint as a child car seat.