Duterte signs law requiring car seats for children in vehicles
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law that would require car owners to use a child restraint system in vehicles.
Duterte signed Republic Act 1129 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicle Act on February 22, a copy of which was released to the media only on Wednesday.
The law aims “to guarantee the safety and welfare of infants and children and prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries. It cites the need to adequately, consistently and objectively require, regulate, promote and inform the public on the use of child restraint systems in motor vehicles.”
A child restraint system, the law stated, refers to “a device capable of accomodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position,” which is “designed to diminish the risk of injury in the event of a collision or of abrupt deceleration of the vehicle by limiting the mobility of the child’s body.”
Under the law, children 12 years old and below would not be allowed to take the front seat unless the child meets the height requirement of at least 150 centimeters or 4’11” and is properly secured using the regular seat belt.
“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,” the law stated.
According to the law, “the child restraint system shall be appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight.”
The new law also stated that the restrained child should not be left unaccompanied by an adult.
The law, however, does not require the use of child restraint system in cases that would put the child in greater danger such as during medical emergencies, when the child transported has a medical or developmental condition, or other analogous circumstances.
Violators of the law would be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P5,000 and the suspension of the driver’s license for one year for the third and succeeding offenses.
The same penalty would be imposed on any driver who allows the use of substandard and/or expired child restraint system or permits the use of child restraint system that does not bear the Philippine Standard mark shall also be slapped with the same penalties.
“Tampering, alteration, forgery and imitation of the PS mark or Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) stickers in the child restraint system” shall be punished with a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more than P100,000 for each and every child restraint system product, the law stated. /je
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