55% parents don’t know UAE child seat belt law

By Eudore R. Chand

A little girl in a car seat

DUBAI 19 January 2020: More than half (55%) of parents don’t know the legal requirements for child seat belt use in the UAE, according to a survey.

Whilst 91% of parents said they require children to wear a seatbelt in the car, the research, conducted by Infiniti Middle East, showed conflicting opinions on the age when the safety practice should be introduced.

One quarter (26%) of those surveyed said that seatbelts should be worn from the age of three, whilst one fifth (20%) said the age for strapping in was six and above.

According to UAE law, vehicle driver and all passengers have to wear a seat belt at all times regardless of age, and children up to four years must be provided with a child safety seat.

“Correct seat belt use is an ongoing topic of conversation in the UAE, and this new survey shows that there is still a lot of confusion amongst parents, when it comes to safety rules,” said Markus Leithe, Managing Director, Middle East, Infiniti. “This new survey…aims to draw attention to these crucial safety considerations, reminding parents of their responsibility and how on-road behaviour affects – and is eventually mimicked by – children.”

Whilst the legal requirements for seat belt use remain unclear amongst parents, the survey demonstrated strong recognition around the effects this has on children’s perceptions of road safety.

When asked which negative on-road behaviours they believed children were most likely to mimic as adults, nearly half (48%) of parents agreed it was not wearing seat belts.

Unrecognizable father fastening seat belt for his son sitting in safety seat in the car.

“Correct use of seat belts remains a key priority for RTA, as we work to improve the safety of parents and children on the UAE’s roads,” said Deema Hussein, Traffic Awareness Senior Manager, Traffic Department of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). “Over the years, RTA has undertaken a number of projects, plans and initiatives to improve awareness around the correct use of seat belts. By collaborating with the private sector on awareness campaigns we continue to raise public awareness on the importance of wearing rear seat belts in order to change the public behaviour in this regard. We are therefore very happy to support the ‘Eyes on You’ campaign which engages one of the most important groups on the road – the parents.”

Dubai Gazette