Bill requires child safety devices in vehicles
MANILA, Philippines — Is your child safe in your car?
A bill has been filed at the House of Representatives requiring car owners with young children to install and use safety devices for their tiny passengers.
Under House Bill 5815, or the proposed “Child Restraint Act,” it shall be unlawful for any adult accompanying a child to travel in a motor vehicle that does not have car seat or child-restraint device for children.
The bill was filed by Buhay party-list Representatives Mariano Michael Velarde Jr., Jose Atienza, Jr. and Irwin Tieng.
In an explanatory note, the proponents cited Article 2, Section 5 of the Constitution, which has mandated the State to provide for the protection of life, liberty, property and promotion of the general welfare of the people.
“Pursuant to this policy, and emphasizing that safe driving practices and proper use of safety devices remain the best way to protect children from traffic crashes and injuries resulting from vehicular accidents, this measure seeks to penalize any driver of a motor vehicle to travel with children on board without providing for a safety device for such children,” they said.
Jeepneys, buses, and emergency vehicles are not covered by the proposed law.
Violators would face a fine of P5,000 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both, at the discretion of the court, the bill proposed.
The driver’s license of the violator shall also be revoked upon final conviction for two violations. Such revocation shall prohibit the grant of a new driver’s license for 12 months from the date of conviction.
As defined under the bill, child restraint refers to “age-appropriate crash-tested seat, device or system that is specially designed to provide child crash protection.”
General terms for these systems include child safety seats, car seats, booster seats, vests or car beds, and those items approved by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to ensure the safety of a child or children riding in motor vehicles.
The bill also declares it unlawful for any adult accompanying any child to allow such child to travel in a motor vehicle that does not have car seat or child restraint device for children unless the adult provides one for the child’s own use.
Any person who violates this provision shall be punished with a fine of P2,000 or imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both.
The LTO shall be the primary implementing and supervising agency in enforcing the measure.
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