By Richa Noriega
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Tuesday the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law that requires motor vehicle owners to use Child Restraint Systems (CRS) when traveling with children has been approved.
The Republic Act 11229 or “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act” mandates the use of CRS for children below 12 years old on private motor vehicles, to ensure the safety and welfare of child passengers to prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries.
“No child shall be allowed to sit in the front seat of a motor vehicle with a running engine or while such child is being transported on any road, street, or highway,” DOTr said in a statement.
For the Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), DOTr said it will conduct a study on the feasibility of requiring the use of CRS and recommend to Congress if the use of CRS is feasible. Otherwise, the department will recommend necessary legislative measures for the safe and secure transportation of children in PUVs.
“The mandatory compliance of the CRS shall be enforced only one year after the effectivity of these rules or the transitory period, or February 2021, to provide sufficient time for information education campaign and preparation of concerned agencies,” DOTr said.
Last February 2019, President Duterte signed the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act and a copy of which was released to media on March 12.
“It shall be unlawful for the driver of a covered vehicle not to properly secure at all times a child, in a child restraint system while the engine is running or transporting such child on any road, street, or highway unless the child is at least 150 centimeters or 59 inches in height and is properly secured using the regular seat belt. The child restraint system shall be appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight,” the law reads.
Under the law, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd) and private agencies and organizations must undertake regular nationwide information, education, and communication campaign within six months from the passage of this act.
The campaign must include information on the proper installation, use, and maintenance of the child restraint system.