Despite its popularity among motorists, the dashboard camera or dashcam, a great tool to deter not only motorists from driving recklessly on the road but also illegal activities such as bribing and/or intimidation between drivers and traffic personnel or vice-versa, has not been tackled by lawmaker until now.

Late last month, House Bill (HB) 6265 or the ‘Dashboard Camera Act of 2017’ was filed by Muntinlupa Representative Rozzano Rufino ‘Ruffy’ B. Biazon, the first-ever bill addressing the importance of using this device in automobiles.

Under the bill, all vehicles – private and public utility vehicles PUVs) – will be required to install a dashcam with a storage device (SD card, etc.) making it capable of recording video for 48 hours before being overwritten by subsequent ones.

The bill states that it should be standard equipment in new vehicles. Older vehicles are given six (6) months to comply should this bill pass into law.

Private motorists who fail to fulfill the terms of the bill will be prevented from registering their vehicles with the Land Transportation Office (LTO). New PUVs without any dashcams will not granted a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC) or franchise to operate while old PUVs will likewise be given six months to comply.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in cooperation with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Information and Communications Technology (ICT) office and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS) will be tasked to draw up the specs and standard of dashcams to be installed. It will also issue rules on the required number and location of dashcams for various types of PUVs.

In the case of vehicular accidents, when it involves PUVs the LTFRB and when it involves private vehicles the LTO will require drivers or owners to submit their storage devices after 24 hours of the order receipt from the governing agency.

A dashboard camera archive shall be established to store videos and use of footage from dashcams will follow strict confidentiality rules.

Vehicle manufacturer will be fined Php 100,000 should they sell a vehicle without a dashcam.

Motorists/franchise owners will be fined Php 5,000 for the first offense, Php 10,00 for the second and Php 15,000 for third and this includes tampering with the dashcam or failing to provide the LTO with the storage device after the order has been issued.

A 30-day driver’ license suspension will be given on the fourth offense, three months on the fifth offense, six months on the sixth and revocation/cancellation of driver’s license/franchise.

Anyone caught publishing or broadcasting contents or footage of dashcam videos or selling/distributing it without express authorization will be fined Php 100,000 to Php 2 million and imprisoned for one to three years.