CAR owners with young children had a year to install car seats for their kids 12 years old and below before the Republic Act 11229 Act is strictly enforced. That time is rapidly approaching, with full implementation of Republic Act 11229 due in September this year.
Under Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, children 12 years old and below can no longer ride in private vehicles without a child restraint system (CRS) using safety car seats. Unless they are 150 cm tall. They must also travel in that device in the rear seats.
RA 11229 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on Feb. 22, 2019. Its implementing rules and regulation (IRR) still had to be signed by Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Land Transportation (LTO) Officals .
12 Month Moratorium
Jarriza Biscante, project development officer of the DOTr, said the one-year transition serves the following purposes:
- To give time for parents to acquire CRS, and learn how to use it.
- Enable DOTr to develop appropriate construction standards.
- Train law enforcers in how to implement the law.
- Give DOTr the time as required by the new law to conduct a study on the use of CRS in public utility vehicles (PUV.) “We will be studying the feasibility of the use of CRS in PUVs including jeepneys, buses, and school buses, taxis, and other motor vehicles used for public transport. Then if it is possible, we will recommend to Congress. If not, the DOTr shall recommend other necessary measures for the safety and protection of children in these vehicles,” she said.
Until September law enforcers will apprehend motor vehicle drivers who violate the law and give a warning. But they will start imposing penalties on erring drivers only after that date
RA 11229 provides for the special protection of child passengers of transporting private motor vehicles through the mandatory use of an appropriate CRS or safety seat for children based on their age, height and weight. Some special provisions will apply to those with developmental or special medical needs
“It has to be safer for the child to use the CRS than to actually hold the child during the transport,” Biscante said.
She said that there are options for the parents and the guardians to secure affordable yet standard CRS. The law will create a demand which should reduce prices”
It is also important to know that price does not always reflect quality,l the standards do that.
In December 2016, the World Health Organization and the Philippine Country Office commissioned a research study on the availability, affordability and acceptability of CRS in the country. The study found 68 brands of child car seats available in the Philippines.
There are basically four types of child car seats, rear-facing only, booster seat, front-facing only, and the combination.
Prices go from 3,000 to 30,000 pesos which is expensive by world standards and will come down.
For those already using a CRS must secure a clearance for it after September
Any driver violating the law shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P2,000 for the second offense and P5,000 plus suspension of driver’s license for succeeding offenses.
Drivers who use substandard, expired or unlicensed CRS will be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 plus suspension of driver’s license for the succeeding offense.
The DTI is not starting from scratch when formulating standards and can begin with those set by the United Nations Regulations 44 and 129 (Enhanced Child Restraint Systems) and other acceptable international standards when crafting the guidelines for the CRS safety standards.
This will be completed within six months
The LTO may deputize members of the Philippine National Police, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and the local government units to assist in the enforcement.
It is fair to say, if you can afford a car, then you should be able to afford a CRS