Police tackle school safety

The Abu Dhabi Police Department will blanket school zones with officers as children head back to class after Ramadan, officials say.

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The Abu Dhabi Police Department will blanket school zones with officers as children head back to class after Ramadan, officials said yesterday. The campaign is designed to prevent road accidents as children cross dangerous busy streets. "We will intensify traffic patrols on various intersections outside of schools to secure and protect students from traffic accidents," the department said in a statement.

Officers from the traffic division will also hold lectures at schools about traffic accidents. Col Hamad al Shamsi, the head of the traffic and patrols department, said: "We encourage parents that any children under the age of 10 should not be in the front seat. They [also] should not cross the street unaccompanied." More police will be present in the morning and afternoon, when students are being dropped off or picked up.

Col al Shamsi stressed the need for school buses to provide safety belts for all riders. He also encouraged schools to invest in cameras on buses so drivers can see behind the vehicle while reversing. And he added that drivers were responsible for the children's safety from the time they were picked up to the time they were dropped off. ILat year, a four-year-old died after being left on a school bus for three hours.

The death of Aatish Shabin sparked an outcry for stricter regulations on school buses. From 2001 to 2007, 1,112 children died after being struck by vehicles. newsdesk@thenational.ae