Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Police have called on parents and school authorities to be more vigilant, so as to prevent accidents when pupils cross busy streets near schools, unattended.
The call came after a 10-year-old child was hit by a car at a zebra crossing in front of his school on Tuesday, seconds after his father had dropped him off on the opposite side of the road, Gulf News has learnt.
The child sustained injuries and was in intensive care on Tuesday afternoon, school authorities said that their repeated calls to drop off children safely has fallen on deaf ears.
At around 8.30am on Tuesday, Junaid Jaffer, a grade five student at Abu Dhabi Indian School was heading towards his school when he was hit by a car.
He would have had to cross two busy roads to get to the school building.
The incident has prompted the school to issue yet another circular to parents urging them never to drop off their children on the opposite side of the street.
"The child was hit by a car driven by an Arab man. The boy was thrown several metres and had several bruises...his face and hands were bleeding," an eyewitness said.
The father of the child, Mohammad Jaffer, said from the hospital that his son was on a ventilator.
"A scan showed that he did not have any head injuries. But doctors told me there could be a complication with his lungs. He is still under observation," he said.
According to him, the driver was detained by the traffic police for questioning.
He said that his son has studied in the school since kindergarten and that he has been dropping him off in the same place for the past two years.
"We issue circulars, every few months, reminding parents not to leave their children on the opposite side of the road since it is too risky," a school official said.
One of the circulars, obtained by Gulf News, asks parents to ensure their child enters the school premises safely.
"We have observed that many parents and private transporters drive rashly near the school area. We urge them to slow down and be careful for the sake of all children, including their own."
Also, parents must see to it that children carry their school diaries every day.
"Junaid did not have his diary so it took a few minutes for us to track down his parents' contacts and inform them. The police insisted they would not take the child to the hospital without calling his parents," the official added.
An Abu Dhabi police official said that it was protocol to inform the parents before transferring a child below 15 years of age, unless the patient is in critical condition.
In Junaid's case his father was close by, but if not, permission would be sought over the phone.
The official said that the child fell on his left side and that the injuries appeared not too serious at the scene.
"But nothing could be said, since internal injuries can only be checked at the hospital," he added.
Is it the school's job to look after children? Or are the parents responsible for their children safety?