In response to the new road safely and traffic laws launched on 1st July, it is now mandatory for taxis across Dubai to have car seats available for children under the age of four.
This road safely initiative comes in response to some confusion amongst taxi drivers following the new laws launched on 1st July, which state that any children under the age of four must be in a car seat - a government initiative introduced to reduce the number of road related deaths across the UAE and aimed at educating drivers about road safety.
Taxi franchise companies and limousine services across Dubai have been informed of the new regulations and failing to comply will result in a AED400 fine and 4 black points for the driver. The government have suggested that seats can simply be kept in the trunk of the car until needed, making them available when required.
"Reserving special seats for infants and toddlers is not common in Arab or Asian culture, but it is one that we need to adopt. The insistence of some mothers to hold their kids while sitting in the front seat is very risky. Mothers should accompany their child sitting on their car seats for maximum safety'. said Major-General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen from the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority.
As part of this initiative, Taxi drivers have been fully trained to remind commuters to use their seat belt available before commencing their journey. The law however does not specify the number of child car seats a vehicle must have.
The implimentation of this law has resulted in a surge in the sales of car seats in retailers across the UAE, demonstrating drivers are responding to the new laws positively.
So what exactly is the new law?
Children under nine months, or those weighing under 10kg, must be seated in child seats facing the rear of the car.
Children between nine months and four years, weighing 9kg to 18kg, should be seated in car seats facing forward.
Seat boosters can be used for children between four and six years, weighing 15kg to 25kg.
Support cushions can be used for children aged six to 11 years, who weigh 22kg to 36kg.
Child seats should be placed on the back seat, secured with seatbelts.