Child restraint systems: Lack of ownership, usage and knowledge remain a key issue of road safety in the UAE

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — CYBEX, a leading German car seats and stroller brand and RoadSafetyUAE announce their partnership to address an important topic of road safety. The partners analysed the data of 3 research waves conducted before and after the introduction of the holistic seat belt law in 2017 and come forward with their views of how to improve the situation.

Irfan Porbanderwalla, CYBEX Chief Executive Officer – India, Middle East & Africa states: “The introduction of the holistic seat belt law in 2017 was a milestone, as it mandates the use of child seats for children aged 0-4 years. However, analysing data of the parents’ behaviour shows little improvement with regards to child seat ownership and usage before and after the law’s introduction. We teamed up with RoadSafetyUAE to address the strategic gaps which in our opinion are to ensure proper hospital new-born discharge procedures, and to start the parents’ education as early as possible, already in the pre-natal phase and also via kindergartens and schools.”

Thomas Edelmann, Founder and Managing Director RoadSafetyUAE adds: “We co-commissioned 3 waves of YouGov research and the issues of non-ownership and non-usage of child restraint systems remain a challenge which needs to be tackled by the stakeholders in charge. Jointly with our new CSR-Partner Cybex we are aiming to build a road map to make sure that we will see more children in the UAE in proper child car seats, just as the law mandates. It is about protecting our children, but also about instilling safety habits with them as early in their lives as possible. Once children are used to wear a seat belt, this good habit will stay with them!”

3 research waves were conducted in February 2017 (prior to the introduction of the holistic seat belt law), 2018 and 2021 with UAE representative samples of more than 1,000 respondents, with little changes over the 3 waves. Most respondents do understand the protective powers of child restraint systems (94%), but despite the law mandating it, 33% do not own a restraint system for their child. The main reasons are lack of knowledge of which system to buy (26%), kids do not like to be strapped in (26%) and the perceived high price (26%).

Among the owners of child restraint systems, only 71% ‘always’ ask their kids to buckle up. The main reasons for non-usage are claimed to be that kids do not like to be strapped in (36%), on short trips there is no need to buckle up kids (34%) and the perceived safe driving, hence no need to buckle up children (27%).

“Cybex can tap into global best practice and resources of how best to address the need to educate parents. It is good to know the existing UAE barriers to ownership and usage of the proper child restraint system and we want to demonstrate our brand’s responsibility in developing programs to address these potentials,” Porbanderwalla explains.

“We are a platform for like-minded road safety stakeholders and we will work with Cybex and other parties in the public and private space to join forces and to improve both ownership and usage of child restraint systems in cars,” Edelmann concludes.

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