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RTA steps up child safety campaign.

Summary: Authority partners with DHA, Australian university to educate mothers about the importance of child safety car seats

Staff Report

Dubai: Following the introduction of new Federal Traffic Law that requires children under the age of four to be restrained in an age-appropriate seat while riding in a vehicle, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in association with Dubai Health Authority has stepped its campaign to raise awareness among mothers.

A key part of the updated Federal Traffic Law that came into effect on July 1, the seat belt rule obliges motorists to have children under the age of four restrained in a safety seat, while the children aged less than 10 years or measuring less than 145cm are prohibited from sitting in the front passenger seat.

"The RTA is keeping pace with the amendments by enhancing the 'Child Safety' programme, which is implemented throughout the year in cooperation with the Dubai Health Authority. The programme targets children and mothers in hospitals and health centres to raise their awareness about basic procedures of child safety. It underscores the importance of child safety seat as well as choosing and fixing it in the vehicle," said Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai, CEO of RTA's Traffic and Roads Agency.

She noted that in the next phase, the programme would focus on acquainting individuals with the amendments to the law and any violation would subject offenders to a fine of Dh400 fine and four black points.

To carry out the campaign, the Traffic and Roads Agency is seeking the expertise of Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), Australia, which is one of the most comprehensive accident and injury prevention research centres worldwide powered by scientific and academic excellence.

"Together with the centre, the TRA collected details of 800 parents in the emirate of Dubai to gauge their awareness on the importance of using child safety means for children under 10," added Bin Adai.

She said that a comprehensive data analysis would be carried out to understand parents' views about using child protection means to gauge their awareness about the correct installation and proper selection of safe child protection means.

"It will also examine the underlying reasons for the reluctance of some parents to use child safety seat. Based on findings, the research project will consider ways and means of increasing the use of child protection means in Dubai to enhance child safety on-board," she said.

Meanwhile, confusion continues to prevail among cabbies and passengers in Dubai over the implementation of the new seat belt law. With no child seats available on taxis in Dubai, cabbies are not sure how to deal with passengers accompanied by children under the age of four, who are required by the law to be restrained in an age-appropriate safety seat.

However, despite repeated requests, the RTA has not clarified on the implementation of the child seat rule in taxis.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jul 5, 2017
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