More than half (56 %) of parents do not know the legal requirements for child seat belt use in Kuwait, according to a new survey.
More astonishingly, only 78% of parents said they require children to wear a seatbelt in the car, meaning 22% of parents surveyed do not enforce child safety measures whilst on the roads. The highest reason cited by parents (54%) for not enforcing children to wear seatbelts, was that they were perfectly safe in the back seat without them, closely followed by they were not necessary on short trips (46%).
The research, conducted by INFINITI Middle East, also showed conflicting opinions on the age when the safety practice should be introduced.
One quarter (23%) of those surveyed said that seatbelts should be worn from the age of three, whilst 25% said the age for strapping in was six and above.
According to Kuwait law, vehicle driver and front seat passengers have to wear a seat belt at all times regardless of age.
The survey is part of a major new road safety awareness campaign by INFINITI Middle East, promoting the safety of children in vehicles. Called ‘Eyes on You’, the campaign sheds light on parent’s on-road behaviours and the impact these have on children.
“Correct seatbelt use is an ongoing topic of conversation in Kuwait, and this new survey shows that there is still a lot of confusion amongst parents, when it comes to safety rules,” said Markus Leithe, Managing Director, Middle East, INFINITI. “This new survey, and the ‘Eyes on You’ campaign, aims to draw attention to these crucial safety considerations, reminding parents of their responsibility and how on-road behaviour affects – and is eventually mimicked by – children.”
The ‘Eyes on You’ campaign is closely aligned with Kuwait’s commitment to tighter road safety laws and seatbelt usage. A comprehensive seat belt law came into place in Kuwait in 1997, making seatbelt use in the driver and front seat mandatory. More recently a series of stringent enforcement penalties were implemented such as the impounding of vehicles for repeat offenders.
Whilst the legal requirements for seatbelt use remain unclear amongst parents, the survey demonstrated strong recognition around the effects this has on children’s perceptions of road safety.
When asked which negative on-road behaviours they believed children were most likely to mimic as adults, over half (53%) of parents agreed it was not wearing seatbelts.
The ‘Eyes on You’ survey involved 1,869 parents across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Lebanon.