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Child Car Seat Law for Mandatory Compliance on Feb. 2

Making roads safer for children.
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Photo/s: shutterstock

The Philippines will implement on Feb. 2 a law that requires motorists to install car seats for children, in an effort to make roads safer for minors, officials and safety advocates said.

The law mandates that passengers 12 years old and below, 4'11" in height and below should be secured in a CRS or Child Restraint System. Mandatory compliance, or enforcement for motorists, will begin on Tuesday.

In the "initial phase" of enforcement, motorists will be given printed materials on the law, said Roberto Valera, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement of the Land Transportation Office. 

The "initial phase" will last for three to six months, after which violators will be apprehended, he said. "The enforcement is not just about apprehension it involves information dissemination and warnings."

"We will be on warning mode as well as informnation dissemination," he said.


TOPGEAR.PH: Everything you need to know about the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act 

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SMART PARENTING: 'Child Car Seats' Bill Is Now A Philippine Law 

The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act (Republic Act 11229) was signed in 2019 and before the mandatory enforcement on Tuesday, government agencies worked to ensure that standards for child car seats are set.

In 2018, 12,487 people died on the road, that's 34 per day or one per hour, according to lawyer Daphne Marcelo of advocacy group ImagineLaw. Among children, 1,226 died on the road in 2017 or around 14 per day, she said.

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"Your embrace is not enough," Marcelo said, likening the CRS to a cushion that can protect an egg from breaking.

Regular seatbelts are not enough to secure children who are in danger from being ejected from the vehicle in case of a crash, she said.

What are the penalties?

Drivers who are caught without a child car seat or who don't use such seats properly will be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P5,000 and one-year driver’s license suspension for the third and succeeding offenses, Valera said.

Those who are caught using expired or substandard child car seats will be fined P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense and P5,000 and one-year driver’s license suspension for the third and succeeding offenses, he said.

The seats must have a PS Mark or ICC sticker, he said.

Those who are caught engaged in the manufacture, distribute, import, retail and sale or substandard or expired car seats will be fined between P50,000 to P100,000.

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How to check child car seats?

Look for these stickers on the car seat to check if it complies with the new law, said Louise Palmes, who represented the Department of Trade and Industry's Bureau of Public Standards at the Zoom call.

Facebook/Buckle Up Kids PH
Facebook/Buckle Up Kids PH
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Palmes said the also DTI has an an Android app that can be used to check the QR codes on the ICC marks.

Facebook/Buckle Up Kids PH

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