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07 December 2023

Sharjah shocker: 37 kids killed in runover accidents

By Mohammad El Sadafy

Runover accidents claimed the lives of 37 children last year, according to the latest statistics revealed by Sharjah Police.

Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed bin Darwish, Director, Patrolling Department, Sharjah Police, said that a total of 223 runover accidents involving children were reported in 2013.

And early this month, a four-year-old girl had a miraculous escape after being run over by her father’s car while he reversing. She was immediately rushed to the ICU for treatment and luckily survived.

In yet another incident in 2014, a one-year-old toddler succumbed to his injuries that he sustained after being run over by his uncle’s vehicle. He had also been reversing his car.

Lt Colonel Dawrish said, “We urge parents and all motorists to cross-check road clearance before reversing vehicles. We want zero accidents this year.”

In fact, last year witnessed comparatively fewer runover accidents than those of the previous year.

Nargis Al Yamahi, Resident Sociologist, Sharjah Police, said unintentional killing of a child by parents or family members is the most tragic event; the feeling of guilt will haunt them forever.

Recalling one such tragic incident, she said: “I have personally witnessed the death of a one-year-old boy who was run over by his aunt. His parents went hysterical. And the aunt’s guilt drove her into depression.”

Lt Colonel Darwish said runover accidents are the result of mistakes in judgment on behalf of the pedestrian and the driver. They happen when the pedestrian suddenly crosses a road from an unauthorised crossing area, or when the motorist drives recklessly or is under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, or even driving when exhausted.

He added that there are many pedestrians who choose not to walk a few extra steps towards safe pedestrian crossings, thereby, unnecessarily endangering their lives and that of others.

“We conducted a campaign entitled ‘Safety of pedestrians is our mission’ and we have distributed awareness pamphlets to pedestrians to warn them of random crossings,” he said.

Federal traffic law imposes a fine of Dh200 for pedestrians who cross the road at non- designated areas. It also imposes a fine of Dh500 for the driver who stops his car on pedestrian crossings. Also motorists will incur a fine of Dh200 + three black points if they stop vehicles in a manner that causes danger to pedestrians, or are found obstructing pedestrian movement.