We Are Accountable For Our Children

On 11 June 1997, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) demanded that the 50 states of America are to issue a law preventing a child under the age of 13 to sit in the front passenger seat, due to the increase of the number of casualties from car accidents, particularly among children sitting in the front passenger seat. This was one of the points that the board recommended to protect children from car accidents that take their lives every day and considered the leading cause of death among minors aged between 5-15 years.


According to statistics, the board confirmed that wearing a seat belt, seating children in the back seat as well as seating children under 3 in a special car seat led to a decrease in the number of casualties in car accidents in 10,000 during last year in America.


Police officers in America are indeed stopping cars in traffic to ensure the safety of children’s positions in cars.


These laws are not exclusive to America, as 6 European countries as well as Australia prohibit seating children in the front passenger seat.


The Economist, a daily newspaper, wrote in June 1997 a report about car accidents in Saudi Arabia, saying that car accidents are the leading cause of death according to an international classification of casualties, taking the lives of one person every 3 hours and injuring 5 people every 2 hours, equaling 68 deaths and injuries every day. Car accidents were also the leading cause of death during last year, as 500,000 people died and 65,000 people injured in 800,000 car accidents.



The report said that the total losses resulting from car accidents are estimated to exceed 2.35 billion Saudi Riyals annually, or 6 billion Saudi Riyals a day. The report again confirms that car accidents are the leading cause of death in the country according to the official statistics of casualties in Saudi Arabia during the past 3 years, which show that 50 weekly deaths occur from car accidents.



Following the necessary precautions to protect the lives of our children is a religious obligation before being a humanitarian duty.



This is our understanding from what the prophet and our teacher (PBUH) taught us as well as his companions, who learned the necessity of taking precautions so that trust in God does not turn to dependency.



The best example on this is what was narrated about the saying to the Bedouin “Harness it and trust in God.” The usage of the word “harness” has another rhetoric dimension, as it indicates the necessity of using the brain in taking the tangible precautions that are compatible with the nature of what is dealt with.



I urge the officials in my beloved country to intensify their efforts in spreading awareness through the media and study the possibility of issuing additional traffic laws to protect children from the parents’ ignorance, so that our children don’t pay the price of our ignorance.