Better safe than sorry – the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives passed a bill that concerns the use of baby car seats to Malacañang. The bill, titled “An Act Providing for the Special Protection of Child Passengers in Motor Vehicles," was authored by Senator JV Ejercito.
When signed, the measure will strictly prohibit children aged 12 and below to be seated in the front seats of any vehicle, as well as children who measure below 150 centimeters (4’6) in height. This is because children with this height do not properly fit into the regular seatbelt.
The use of child restraint systems, also known as child/baby car seats, will be required for parents who will travel with their young ones. The “child restraint system” is a device that holds kids safely in place, be it sitting or lying down. Car seats come in varying types. Some child car seats are secured using regular seatbelts and tether anchors, while other car seats are latched using ISOFIX anchorages.
In addition to using car seats, the bill also aims to prohibit drivers from leaving children inside the car, unattended. Once passed, those who will violate this law will be fined P1,000 on the first offense. The second offense will be at P2,000, while the third and succeeding offenses will be P5,000, along with the suspension of the driver’s license for one year.
The Senate and the House of Representatives hope that the bill will minimize the injuries and deaths of children on the road. According to Sen. Ejercito, there’s an average of 667 road-related deaths in the country involving children. Meanwhile, data from the World Health Organization reported that 1.35 million people around the world die each year caused by vehicular accidents.