President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed into law a bill that requires motor vehicle owners to use child restraint systems when traveling with children.
Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act on Feb. 22.
“It shall be unlawful for the driver of a covered vehicle not to properly secure at all times a child, in a child restraint system while the engine is running or transporting such child on any road, street, or highway unless the child is at least 150 centimeters or 59 inches in height and is properly secured using the regular seat belt. The child restraint system shall be appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight,” the law reads.
Under the law, no child 12 years and below of age shall be allowed to sit in a front seat of a motor vehicle “unless the child meets the height requirement”.
A child restraint system, according to the law, refers to a device capable of accommodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position.
“It is so designed to diminish the risk of injury to the wearer, in the event of a collision or of abrupt deceleration of the vehicle, by limiting the mobility of the child’s body,” the law explained.
Under the law, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd) and private agencies and organizations must undertake regular nationwide information, education, and communication campaign within six months from the passage of this act.
The campaign must include information on the proper installation, use, and maintenance of the child restraint system.
The DOTr may call upon any government agency, including the Philippine National Police (PNP) and non-government organizations (NGOs) to extend their full support and cooperation for the implementation of this act.
It must also conduct and submit to Congress a periodic review on the implementation of this act at the end of the third year from the date of effectivity year thereafter.
The DOTr, in consultation with the Department of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), DOH, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), and other concerned agencies and stakeholders must promulgate the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on child restraint systems within six months from the effectivity of this act.
The act shall take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in two national newspapers of general circulation.
That act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 1971 and House Bill No. 6938 was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2018. (PNA)