Legal

Things You Need to Know About the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act

Did you know that the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act or R.A. 11229 has already been signed into law? Although the provisions of the law have not yet been strictly implemented pending the release and effectivity of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (“IRR”), it pays to know what this law is all about. This is mostly relevant to parents like you and me who have children below twelve years of age.

The law has been signed by Pres. Duterte last February 22, 2019 and it was published in the Official Gazette last March 13, 2019.

Here are the salient provisions of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act :

PURPOSES OF THE LAW

To ensure the safety of children while being transported in any form of motor vehicle;

To guarantee the safety and welfare of infants and children and prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries;

To recognize the need to adequately, consistently and objectively require, regulate, promote, and inform the public on the use of child restraint systems in motor vehicles and provide access to safe, appropriate, quality and affordable child restraint systems, in accordance with international standards accepted by the United Nations;

To recognize the need to study and determine safety measures for children being transported in public utility vehicles.

MANDATORY USE OF CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM IN MOTOR VEHICLES (Section 4)

It shall be unlawful for the driver of a covered vehicle not to properly secure AT ALL TIMES a child twelve (12) years old and below in a child restraint system (car seat) while the engine is running or transporting such child on any road, street, highway, UNLESS:

(1) the child is at least 4 feet 11 inches in height; AND

(2) the child is properly secured using the regular seat belt.

EXCEPTIONS TO THE MANDATORY USE OF CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM

(1) During medical emergencies;

(2) When the child transported has a medical or developmental condition; OR

(3) Other analogous circumstances prescribed under the IRR.

CHILD SHALL NOT BE LEFT ALONE IN A MOTOR VEHICLE (Section 4)

Even if the child is securely fastened in a child restraint system, at no instance shall such child be left unaccompanied by an adult (a person 18 years old and above) in a motor vehicle.

CHILDREN IN REAR SEATS (Section 5)

No child twelve (12) years old and below shall be allowed to sit in a front seat of a motor vehicle with a running engine or while such child is being transported on any road, street or highway, UNLESS:

  • the child is at least 4 feet 11 inches in height; AND
  • the child is properly secured using the regular seat belt.

SAFETY STANDARDS FOR CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEMS

The Department of Trade and Industry (“DTI”) is mandated to use standards
in accordance with international standards accepted by the United Nations.

All manufacturers, importers, distributors and sellers of child restraint systems are required to secure from the Bureau of Product Standards (“BPS”) a Philippine Standards (“PS”) mark license of Import Clearance Certificate (“ICC”) license prior to the marketing, sale and distribution of their products.

The use of child restraint system acquired PRIOR to the effectivity of this Act shall be allowed provided that such device is NOT EXPIRED.

CHILD SAFETY IN PUBLIC UTILITY VEHICLES

The Department of Transportation (“DOTr”) shall study and recommend the applicability/non-applicability of child restraint system in public utility vehicles such as jeepneys, buses, including school buses, taxis, vans, coasters, accredited/affiliated service vehicles of transportation network companies, and all other motor vehicles used for public transport.

The study shall be conducted within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act.

PENALTIES

Any driver in violation of Sections 4 and 5 shall pay a fine:

First offense – One Thousand Pesos

Second Offense – Two Thousand Pesos

Third and succeeding offenses – Five Thousand Pesos and suspension of driver’s license for a period of one (1) year.

Any manufacturer, distributor, importer, retailer and seller who violates this Act shall be punished with:

Fine of not less than P50,000.00 but not more than P100,000.00 for each and every child restraint system product manufactured, distributed, imported and/or sold.

Any driver who allows the use of substandard and/or expired child restraint system or permits the use of child restraint system that does not bear the PS mark or the ICC sticker and certificate, shall be punished with:

First Offense – Fine of P1,000.00

Second Offense – Fine of P3,000.00

Third and succeeding offenses – Five Thousand Pesos and suspension of driver’s license for a period of one (1) year.

Tampering, alteration, forgery and imitation of the PS mark or the ICC stickers in the child restraint system shall be punished with:

Fine of not less than P50,000.00 but not more than P100,000.00 for each and every child restraint system product.

IMPLEMENTING RULES AND REGULATIONS

The DOTr, DOH, DILG, PNP-HPG, MMDA, CWC and other concerned agencies and stakeholders shall promulgate the IRR within six (6) months from effectivity of this Act, or on or before September 28, 2019.

MANDATORY COMPLIANCE OF THE LAW

Mandatory compliance of the law shall be enforced only one (1) year after the effectivity of the IRR.

To get a copy of RA 11229 and read the full text of the law, here is the link of its publication in the Official Gazette website.

So there you go! Although the law is yet to be strictly enforced and implemented, at least by now we already have an idea of what the law entails. I am pretty sure there are a lot of clarifications and concerns in the course of the implementation of this law. But let us try to see the positive side of the law rather than the negative. Let us wait and see how this one goes.

For my other legal posts, you may also read the following:

Things You Need to Know About the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law

To Change or Not to Change Your Surname After Marriage

Collect Debts Faster and Easier by Filing a Small Claims Case

What is the Essence of a Contract?

Ten Things About Notarization in the Philippines

Thank you for reading! This is Attorney Mommy, at your service!

AttyMommy

Hello! I am Camille, a.k.a Attorney Mommy. I am a happy wife, a proud mom, and a full time attorney. I feel blessed that I am able to take care of my family while I practice my profession. I see to it that I enjoy and have fun in whatever I do. This blog keeps me sane, alive and excited for greater things ahead. Thank you for taking the time to read my posts!

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4 Comments

  1. Junavi Ann Sasuman says:

    Hi Atty Mommy! I just like to be sure if I understand the law correctly.

    I have an 18 mos old set of twin boys.. and we’ve recently purchased a car. And we are already planning to buy a car seat for them. However, we are putting on hold our purchase because of the newly signed law.

    I’d like to know if it is legally safe for us to purchase the carseats even without the IRR yet? although, we are making sure that the brand we have in mind is at par with the UN rrgulation no. 44 and 129. It’s just that the PS mark and ICC stickers are not yet available.

    Will we be held legally accountable once the IRRs are implemented? Thank you, Atty!

    -One apprehensive mom.

    1. Hello “One apprehensive mom”,

      It is highly recommended, for the best interest of our children and for our own peace of mind, to secure them at all times in carseats, even if the law has not been fully and strictly implemented. To answer your question… should you decide to purchase the carseats now (meaning, prior to the effectivity of the law), it will be allowed PROVIDED that they are not expired (see Sec. 6, par. 3 of the law) during the mandatory implementation of the law. Otherwise, you can be held liable under Sec. 10 par. c for the use of substandard/expired car seat or for allowing the use of a carseat without the PS mark or the ICC sticker and certificate. First offense – 1,000; Second offense – 3,000; Third and subsequent offenses – 5,000 and suspension of driver’s license for a period of 1 year.

      Hope I have clarified your concern.

      Best,
      Attorney Mommy

  2. I like the report

    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks!

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