Guinto sorry over ‘inappropriate’ remark on child safety in car law implementation
MANILA, Philippines — Land Transportation Office (LTO) Director Clarence Guinto has apologized for his “inappropriate” comment, suggesting families with tall children better use bigger cars to comply with Republic Act No. 11229 or the Child Safety In Motor Vehicles Act, which takes effect February 2.
Guinto’s remark quickly drew criticisms online, mostly calling it “insensitive.”
“I am sorry for the confusion I have caused with my remark, which was made in jest. I realize now that it was inappropriate,” Guinto said in a statement issued Monday afternoon.
“To clarify, if the child is above 4’11”, the child is exempted from using a child car seat under the law and may be secured using the regular seat belt,” he added.
In an earlier interview over DZMM Teleradyo, Guinto was asked about what to do if the car has only limited space for car seats and raises concern about the safety of taller children who are also required to use booster seats.
He responded by saying: “Siguro ma’am laki-lakihan mo ang sasakyan mo (maybe you should use a bigger car). We will take note of that.”
The Child Safety In Motor Vehicles Act prohibits children 12 years old and under to take the front car seat. Children are also required under the law to be secured in a car seat appropriate to their age, size, weight, and height.
Violators of the new law will be fined from P1,000 to P5,000 and may be punished with a year suspension of driver’s license for third and succeeding offenses.
However, LTO said they will only start apprehending and ticketing violators three to six months from today.
“For other questions about Republic Act No. 11229, you may get in touch with LTO spokesperson, Mr. Roberto Valera [email protected],” Guinto noted.
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