Yesterday, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) announced that they will be implementing Republic Act 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act of 2020. With it, children aged below 12 will not be allowed to occupy the front seat of a vehicle. However, children aged below 12 but are above 4'11 in height are exempt from the rule.
But with the pandemic and quarantine measures still present, both the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and LTO are in favor of deferring the full implementation of its enforcement.
According to the DOTr, the LTO was originally scheduled to have an enforcement and communications planning workshop in implementing R.A. 11229 on March 19 – 20, 2020. However, the event was canceled due to the pandemic and subsequent quarantine measures implemented.
Moreover, the government agency planned to roll out a nationwide information drive regarding the said law, targeting teachers/school officials, children, medical practitioners, and manufacturers/retailers/importers, among others. However, this did not push through as well given the current situation.
Last but not least, the LTO is still in the process of finalizing enforcement protocols; the law requires special training as it involves children.
With the LTO and DOTr wanting to delay its enforcement, violators will be let off for now. Instead, they will only be warned and given information materials about the law. The issuances of fines/imposition of driver's license demerit points will only start in three to six months before the LTO starts apprehending violators.
If you haven't bought a child seat yet for your children, it's best that you get one now.