New bill seeks to penalize leaving kids unattended in vehicles

Congressmen approve HB 6570 for second reading

The House of Representatives approved on second reading House Bill 6570 (HB 6570), prohibiting leaving children under eight years old and below unattended inside a motor vehicle.

On Tuesday, the committee on welfare of children headed by Rep. Divina Grace Yu endorsed the bill’s plenary approval. HB 6570, which was principally authored by Reps. Strike Revilla and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, indicates that a child must always be with someone 18 years old and above while inside a vehicle with a running engine. A key must also be left inside the vehicle.

Furthermore, the bill imposes fines for adults who will violate the proposed bill – Php 5,000 for first offense, Php 10,000 for second offense, and Php 50,000 with driver’s license confiscation for third offense. Any subsequent offense shall carry the penalty of revocation of the driver’s license.

This campaign on the prohibition and dangers of leaving children unattended inside motor vehicles shall be fully implemented by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). Member-agencies of the Council for the Welfare of Children shall also issue the implementing rules and regulations of the measure once the bill is passed into a law.

“These injuries and deaths were caused by heat stroke, a motor vehicle being put in motion by a child, choking while inside a car, being kidnapped, inhaling toxic fumes, activation of automatic power controls, or being trapped in the vehicle’s trunk,” said Revilla.

“Through education and legislation, the injuries and deaths caused by the dangerous practice of leaving children unattended in motor vehicles can be greatly reduced. Parents, relatives or guardians should always be made aware that unsupervised children in a motor vehicle pose a great threat to their safety and unnecessary emotional burden to their families,” said Macapagal-Arroyo.

The former chief executive added that the bill she and Revilla authored was filed to heed the urgent call of raising public awareness about the dangers of leaving children unattended in motor vehicles.