By Gavin Gibbon
According to UAE law, vehicle drivers and all passengers have to wear a seatbelt at all times regardless of age
More than half (55 percent) of parents don’t know the legal requirements for child seat belt use in the UAE, according to a new survey.
While 91 percent 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 percent) of those surveyed said that seatbelts should be worn from the age of three, while one fifth (20 percent) said the age for strapping in was six and above.
According to UAE law, vehicle drivers and all passengers have to wear a seatbelt at all times regardless of age, and children up to four years must be provided with a child safety seat.
The survey is part of a major new road safety awareness campaign by Infiniti Middle East, promoting the safety of children in vehicles, called ‘Eyes on You’. The campaign sheds light on parents' on-road behaviours and the impact these have on children.
“Correct seatbelt 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, and the ‘Eyes on You’ campaign, 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.”
When asked which negative on-road behaviours they believed children were most likely to mimic as adults, nearly half (48 percent) of parents agreed it was not wearing seatbelts.
The ‘Eyes on You’ campaign is closely aligned with the Dubai traffic safety strategy to reduce road fatalities by 1.5 for 100,000 population by 2021. A comprehensive seatbelt law came into place in the UAE in 2017, making seatbelts for rear seat passengers and child safety seats mandatory.
“Correct use of seatbelts remains a key priority for RTA (Roads and Transport Authority), as we work to improve the safety of parents and children on the UAE’s roads,” said Deema Hussein, traffic awareness senior manager, RTA.
“Over the years, RTA has undertaken a number of projects, plans and initiatives to improve awareness around the correct use of seatbelts. 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.”
The ‘Eyes on You’ survey involved 1,869 parents across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon.