President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently signed Republic Act 11229 (RA 11229) or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act requiring vehicle owners to use child restraint seats when traveling with children.
According to the law, children aged 12 years and below shall be secured in a child restraint system, while the engine is running or when transporting them on any road, street, or highway unless the child meets the height requirement of at least 150 cm or 59 inches in height and can be properly secured by the regular seat belt. The child restraint system shall be appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight.
RA 11229 defines a child restraint system as a device capable of accommodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position.
“It is so designed 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,” the act says.
Private agencies and organizations such as the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Education (DepEd) must undergo regular nationwide information, education, and communication campaign within six months from the passage of the law.
Concerned agencies and organizations must also include the proper installation, use, and maintenance of the child restraint system on their communication campaign.
Drivers who fail to comply with the law shall be fined Php 1,000 for the first offense, Php 2,000 for the second offense, and Php 5,000 and suspension of driver’s license for one year for the third and succeeding offenses.
All manufacturers, importers, distributors, and sellers of child restraint seats must comply with the international standards set by the United Nations. Any driver or company allowing the use of substandard and/or expired child restraint system or permits the use of child restraint systems without Philippine Standard mark shall also be slapped with the same penalties.
Furthermore, tampering with the PS mark or Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) sticker shall be punished with a fine of not less than Php 50,000, but not more than Php 100,000 for every restraint system product.