UAE: Tough jail time, fine for leaving children in cars

Estimated read time 2 min read

Picture for illustrative purposes only. ARCHIVE

The Dubai Police has warned parents of strict penalties for leaving their children unattended inside vehicles, which poses a life-threatening danger to them.

In a video campaign, Dubai Police showed how leaving a child in a locked vehicle could lead to the child’s death. It is part of a public awareness campaign on the dangers of leaving children unattended in locked vehicles, particularly during the summer months.

Leaving a child inside a closed vehicle can kill them in less than 10 minutes as they are exposed to heat stroke and suffocation, experts have warned.

Every year, police in the UAE rescue dozens of children left in cars. Lt. Col. Abdullah Bishwa of Dubai Police blame the children’s parents for “negligence”, saying they “underestimate the risk they are taking” by leaving their children behind to go for quick errands.

“In some incidents, where we needed to smash the window, parents insisted we wait for them to get a spare key,” Lt. Col. Bishwa said.

In 2019, a 6-year-old Indian boy died after being left behind in a bus owned by the Al Manar Islamic Centre in Al Quoz Dubai. Following the incident, Islamic centres in the emirate enforced new bus safety rules to prevent similar incidents from happening.

Under the UAE’s Child Rights Law, negligence that puts a child in harm’s way is punishable with imprisonment and a minimum fine of Dh5,000. The punishment can go up to a maximum fine of Dh1 million and a jail term of 10 years. ICA/Expat Media

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