Parents who leave children in locked cars could face Dh1 million fine

Warning comes following death of six-year-old in summer heat

The RTA has said the new service is coming soon. Reem Mohammed / The National
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Parents who endanger their children’s lives by leaving them in a locked car could face a Dh1 million fine and a 10-year-prison sentence.

The warning comes following the recent death of a six-year-old boy who was left unattended on a bus in soaring summer temperatures.

Mohamed Farhan Faisal had been part of a group of children who were visiting the Al Manar Islamic Centre in Dubai earlier this month.

At the weekend, a two-year-old boy was admitted to hospital in Sharjah after nearly dying from being left in his father’s hot car.

Vidur Dhawan, an associate with Abu Dhabi law firm STA, said parents needed to be aware that courts were able to impose significant sentences.

“The court can issue a fine of up to Dh1 million if they want to set an example,” he said.

“It is not unusual for a court to want to make a statement of intent, especially when it comes to matters as serious as child safety.”

The UAE Child Rights Law was introduced in 2016 in an effort to better protect young people from negligence, including physical or psychological abuse.

Often referred to as Wadeema’s Law, the legislation was established following the murder of an eight-year-old Emirati girl who was found tortured in 2012.

In recent weeks, authorities in the Emirates have warned motorists of the dangers of leaving children unsupervised in vehicles during the summer.

Colonel Sami Khamis Al Naqbi, director general of Sharjah Civil Defence, said his department received at least two reports of children trapped in a room or lift, or locked in a car, each week.