Police urge parents or people reversing their car to cross-check roads and their surroundings before reversing to avoid accidents.
Run-over accidents claimed the lives of 37 children in 2013, according to a Sharjah Police officer.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ahmed bin Darwish, Director of the patrolling department of the Sharjah Police, said in 2013, 223 run-over accidents involved children. What was more tragic, he said, was the fact that many had been run over by their parents or relatives.
In the beginning of 2014, a four-year-old girl miraculously escaped death after being run over by her father, who was reversing his car without realising that his daughter was playing behind the car.
In a smiliar incident, a one-year-old boy was crushed to death while his uncle was reversing his car.
“We are urging parents or people reversing their car to cross check roads and their surroundings before reversing to avoid killing an innocent child who is unaware of the danger surrounding him. We want zero accidents this year and in the coming years,” Lt-Colonel bin Darwish said.
Nargis Al Yamahi, a sociologist at Sharjah Police, said the unintentional killing of a child by his parents or family members is very tragic as the feeling of guilt always remains.
“I have personally witnessed the death of a one-year-old boy who was accidentally run over by his aunt, leading his mom and dad to go hysterical,” she said.
Although the year 2013 witnessed 223 run-over accidents leading to 37 deaths, this figure is comparatively lower than the number of accidents which occurred in 2012. The police, however, consider run-over accidents as an “alarming trend”, which has to be curbed.
According to Lt-Col bin Darwish, both pedestrians and motorists are responsible for run-over accidents. A pedestrian crossing the road from an unauthorised crossing area or a motorist driving the car recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or medicines or when exhausted contribute to such accidents, he said.
“We have found out that many pedestrians avoid walking a few steps towards safe pedestrian crossings and cross from unauthorised areas, which endanger their lives. We conducted a campaign titled ‘Safety of pedestrians is our mission’ and distributed awareness pamphlets to pedestrians to warn them against random crossings.”
According to article number 147 in traffic rules, a pedestrian found crossing from undesignated pedestrian crossings will be fined Dh200 and the violation would be registered in their presence.
According to article number 42, a fine of Dh500 will be slapped in addition to six black pints on motorists who do not give priority to pedestrians to cross at pedestrian crossings. Article 111 states that a motorist parking his car in a way that can pose danger to pedestrians or block traffic can be fined Dh200, in addition to three black points.