Child restraint system in cars required starting 2020: DOTr exec
CEBU CITY – Private vehicle drivers will have one-year to acquire a child restraint system (CRS) before the full implementation of Republic Act 11229 or Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act of 2019 next year, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Friday said.
Jarizza Mae Biscante, chief of staff of Project
Development Office of DOTr, said President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law on February 22 this year and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR) is expected to be signed before the year ends.
“It shall be unlawful for the driver of a covered private vehicle not to properly secure at all times a child passenger in a CRS while the engine is running or when transporting such child on any road, street or highway,” Biscante said during the Cebu leg of the nationwide public information campaign on the law at the Bayfront Hotel here on Friday.
She said the DOTr is tasked by law to disseminate “information and education on accessibility and affordability of CRS.”
Drivers of private vehicle, she said, has one year
transition period to acquire for the CRS. In the meantime, she added, they could be flagged down by law enforcement officers from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) or the Highway Patrol Group cops but in lieu of the citation ticket or temporary operator’s permit (TOP), they would be reminded about the law.
Lawyer Antonio Salvador, trustee of Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Inc. which is the private partner of DOTr in the information drive, defined CRS as a device “capable of accommodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position” and “designed as 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.”
He said the new law will penalize drivers who fail to use a CRS in securing child passenger who is “at least one hundred fifty (150) centimeters or fifty-nine (59) inches (4 feet and 11 inches) in height.”
The law also prohibits a child 12 years of age and below in the front seat of the private vehicle while in a running engine or such child is being transported on any road, he said.
The Department of Trade and Industry, he said, is mandated by the law to use standards set forth by the United Nations regulations “including its evolving standards and other accepted international standards in the approval or disapproval of CRS that will be distributed in the country”.
Salvador said the law only covers private vehicles for “private use”, any motor vehicle owned by the national government or any of its agencies, instrumentalities or political subdivisions, including government-owned or controlled corporations or their subsidiaries for official use, as well as any diplomatic vehicle.
The law does not apply to motorcycles and tricycles, he said.
Lawyer Melisa Comafay, the road safety project coordinator of IDEALS Inc., told the information drive participants here that the Philippine is already compliant to international standards requiring to address five risk factors in road safety, except the CRS under R.A. 11229.
She said the Philippines now has existing laws requiring motorists to wear seatbelts, prohibiting them to drink when driving, limiting speed while on the road, as well as requiring motorcyclists to wear a helmet.
If the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act of 2019 will be in full swing, the country will become fully compliant with the standards in addressing the five risk factors in road safety, she said.
Biscante said the national government is on track now that new law will have its IRR signed this year.
“Road safety is one of the things that the DOTr is trying to advocate. WHO (World Health Organization) has established risk factors (in the road) and we have complied with them, and CRS is the last one,” Biscante added.