Seatbelt rule most important, says road safety expert

Dubai - 34 per cent of drivers noted they don't have proper child restraint systems in place


Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Published: Wed 5 Jul 2017, 10:44 PM

Last updated: Thu 6 Jul 2017, 12:45 AM

Thomas Edelman, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE, has singled the new rules regarding seatbelt usage as the "most important" of the recent changes in traffic rules to save lives and prevent injuries on the UAE's roads.
"The reason we want to single out this one rule change is the current lack of seat belt use in the UAE," he said.
According to a research project carried out by RoadSafety UAE in February, only 78 per cent of drivers - and only 51 per cent of Emiratis - wear seatbelts. For front seat passengers, the percentage drops to 71 per cent, with particularly alarming results among drivers between the ages of 18 and 24, of whom only 52 per cent reported using their seat belts. Of the back seat passengers, only 11 per cent reported always wearing a seat belt.
When it comes to the child safety, 34 per cent of drivers noted they don't have proper child restraint systems in place. Of those who do, 30 per cent reported not always using them.
"These numbers are very concerning," Edelmann remarked.
According to Edelmann, global research shows that seat belts save between 40 and 60 percent of lives in accidents; for children, it goes up to 80 per cent.
"These facts show how important the new holistic seat belt rule is," he said. "It is not only important in the context of protecting motorists, passengers and our kids, but also in the context of 'UAE Vision 2021', in which the UAE government aims to decrease the number of fatalities from currently 6.1 per 100,000 inhabitants down to 3 per 100,000 inhabitants by 2021."

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