Implementation of child car seat law postponed

Richmond Mercurio, Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
Implementation of child car seat law postponed
An employee arranges child restraint seats at a baby store in Mandaluyong City yesterday. Under the Child Car Seat Law, children up to age 12 and shorter than 4’11’’ are required to use restraining seats.
Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has deferred implementation of Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act as the Land Transportation Office (LTO) finalizes enforcement guidelines for the law.

Both the DOTr and LTO yesterday agreed to postpone the enforcement of the law amid the pandemic, to determine the age and height of the children to be covered as well as the standard car seat and penalties to be imposed on violators.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran said at least six months is needed for the conduct of an information campaign before enforcing the law.

“Secretary Arthur Tugade said we must consider the current situation given the pandemic,” Libiran said.

The DOTr said the LTO is in the process of finalizing enforcement protocols for the law, considering that special training is needed because children are involved.

The LTO was supposed to conduct an enforcement and communications planning workshop on the implementation of the Child Car Seat Law on March 19, 2020 but it was canceled due to quarantine restrictions.

Under the law, children up to age 12 and shorter than 4’11’’ are required to use car seats.

The LTO said it would not apprehend violators for six months or until around August, adding it would prioritize educating drivers and parents by distributing flyers regarding the mandatory car seat for children.

“We will not be imposing fines and penalties on violators immediately. What we are doing now is focusing on a massive information campaign,” LTO chief Edgar Galvante said.

The law, which provides fines of up to P5,000 and one year suspension of driver’s license, was supposed to take effect yesterday.

Senators said the LTO should give private car owners enough time to secure child car seats before implementing the law.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri signed a resolution urging the DOTr and LTO to defer the enforcement of the Child Car Seat Law until the necessary guidelines are put in place.  — Cecille Suerte Felipe

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