Friday, February 26, 2010

Cars and children

I despair. What hope is there for any improvement in this issue when the prevailing attitudes are as per the following quotes taken from today’s newspaper......

I use a car seat for my girl, but the boy keeps taking off his seat belt. Maybe if I tell the boy that the police will stop us if he takes it off then he might keep it on.
Reham Radi, 29, from Jordan, housewife. Son, four. Daughter, one.

My daughter insists on never sitting in the seat. I’m forced to sit at the back with her on my lap.
Hadeel Mohammed, 25, from Iraq, housewife. Daughter, 11 months.

We usually use a car seat for our child but sometimes he cries, so his mother must carry him on her lap. The seat also takes up too much space.
Obaid Ali, 29, UAE, programmer. Son, six months.

We don’t use a car seat for out child. He always insists on sitting in the front seat with me.
Faiza Sajad, 32 from Pakistan, housewife. Son, two.

I usually force my kids to sit at the back but my boy jumps to the front while I’m driving, so I leave him unless I find a place to park and put him back. I don’t use the seat belt when he’s in the back. He won’t let me.
Samer nemr, 37, Jordan, nurse. Two children, four and five.

My one-year-old girl usually sits on her mother’s lap in the front seat.
Mohammed Suhail, 31, Oman, education worker.

Now, did I get something wrong in my life? Shouldn’t it be: ME PARENT, YOU CHILD.

I think what is needed, isn’t just a campaign on child safety in cars, but a general campaign and education programme on parenting, period.

Would they let a child drink bleach because they scream if you take the bottle off them? Would they let a child walk along the edge of a cliff because they cry when you pull them away? Would they let a child climb into an oven because they want to?

I hope not. So why do they allow the same level of danger (i.e. likely death in an accident) by not strapping their kids into a car seat. IDIOTS!

This is child negligence and deserves to be treated with the full weight of the law, as it would in many other countries. I said before though, when the laws do come in - having them enforced will be whole other matter - just look at the lack of enforcement of driving laws..........


  1. Neil,
    I lived in Abu Dhabi on and off for the last 8 years. At the moment I am in Brazil.
    When I first arrived I used to get angry at the tossers who sit a couple of feet off your bumper flashing at you to get out of the way even when there is no place to go. One time I did make a few gestures to the idiot behind me... big mistake. When he passed me he swerved in front of me, screeched to a halt in the outside lane, got out and started screaming at me. I refused to discuss anything with him and told him if he wanted to talk to move to the hard shoulder. This was a couple of Km before Maqta bridge with cars whizzing by at 100kph. Eventually after threats to call the police, where I would have been at fault of course, he drove off. After that I decided to go with the flow and move out of the way of the speed merchants and let them come to an early end if that was their choice, I stopped caring about them, but I never have got over my anger at seeing kids balanced on a parents lap on the front seat. It still makes me anngry when I see it. I have heard all the excuses you have listed above and I have no idea what mental process, if any, these people go through to justify neglect on this scale. When I was in Abu Dhabi two toddlers 15 floors up climbed up and out of the windows of one of the blocks in Hamdam Street. The reported comments in the paper from the mother was "It was the will of Allah" I felt like screaming No! it was because you left the window open. I think it is the same justification regarding the car accident when it happpens.

  2. Kevin,

    Totally agree with you - and echos the sentiments I expressed previously below:-

    Unfortunately, nothing is changing. Just a coupe of weeks ago another toddler died by falling out of a tower block window and just coming home tonight I saw a young child standing on the back seat with her head out of the window while the driver (presumably, father) drive at about 80kmph down the Corniche. It just makes me feel sick to watch it.