The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act of 2017 has been approved by Congress. The said bill intends to provide “special protection to child passengers in motor vehicles” by requiring the use of safety car seats or child restraint system.
As such, the bill states that children 12 years old and below should be in a safety car seat when travelling on “any road, street, or highway.”
The bill, which was principally authored by Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde, also prohibits any child under the age of 12 to accommodate the front seat of a motor vehicle.
For motorists who do not comply with the bill will be fined P1,000 (1st offense), P2,000 (2nd offense), and P5,000 plus a 1-year license suspension (3rd offense).
In line with this, the bill mandates the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to set quality standards for child restraint systems that will be sold, distributed, and used in the Philippines.
Any driver who use substandard child restraint system, which does not have the Philippine Standards (PS) license and/or the Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) sticker will face charges. Violators will be fined P1,000 (1st offense), P3,000 (2nd offense), and P5,000 as well as a 1-year license suspension (3rd offense).
It is also said that among the road safety laws being pushed by the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the necessity for the use of child restraint is one of the few remaining, if not the only safety measure that the Philippines has not yet legislated.
With that in mind, this approval is a great move from the government, given that there had been 24,656 road crashes happened as of 2015, leaving 1,040 people dead, according to the data of Philippine National Police (PNP).