Anton Andres / Newspress | February 09, 2018 15:12
House seeks to make use child seats in cars widespread
On February 7, 2018, members of the Congress have unanimously voted to approve House Bill 6938, which will be known as the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act. There were no objections in congress as they signed off the Bill with a 225-0 vote. This bill 'seeks to provide special protection of child passengers in motor vehicles.'
According to the House there is a need to require, regulate, promote, and inform the public on the use of child restraint systems in vehicles. Congress wants to promote the culture of safety in Filipino motorists by pushing forward with the said Bill.
Furthermore, these child restraints should be safe, appropriate, of high-quality and in accordance with international standards accepted by the United Nations (as part of the Global New Car Assessment Initiative). The Bill describes these restraints as, “a device capable of accommodating a child occupant in a sitting or supine position. It is so designed to diminish the risk of injury to the wearer, in the event of a collision or an abrupt deceleration of the vehicle by limiting the mobility of the child’s body.”
In addition, the Bill states that children must always be wearing the restraints while traveling on any road, street or highway. The child restraint system shall be appropriate to the child’s size, height and weight. More specifically, this Act disallows children under the age of 12 to be seated at the front, unless the said child is of a certain height (150 cm or approximately 4 feet and 11 inches). Also, the child may use the regular seat belt instead of a child restraint system if they are of the said height
The Department of Trade and Industry will be using the standards set by the United Nations and will be responsible for testing locally-manufactured child restraints. At the same time, they will also be in charge of certifying child seats that are made abroad. Besides the use of these child seats in private vehicles, the DOTr shall conduct a study and recommend to Congress the use of child restraint systems in public utility vehicles. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) will be announced in the near future.