As incidents of robbery and theft in public utility vehicles (PUVs) continue to threaten the safety of commuters including recklessness behind the wheel by PUV drivers, a lawmaker comes out with a bill to mandate all PUVs to have dashboard cameras (dashcams) installed.

Rep. Eric L. Olivarez of the 1st District, Parañaque City has filed House Bill 6050 or the ‘Dashcam Act of 2015’ seeking to make dashcams standard in all PUVs to be able to record all data pertaining to the commute of the PUV in relation to the safety of all passengers.

"A 'dash cam' is a device attached to the vehicle that can monitor and record all of the automobile's activities. It can provide a record of police behavior during traffic stops, documenting incidents of road rage and recording events leading up to accidents caused by drunk drivers, sleepy or wayward drivers for reporting to insurance companies," Olivarez said.

Olivarez cited statistics indicating that ‘85 percent of road accidents in the Philippines were caused by driver error or violations, determining that the social environment has a role to play wherein intentions to commit violations were higher when other drivers were seen to commit violations and when there were no traffic enforcers around.’

Under the act, a dashcam shall be installed on the windshield in a way that does not impair the driver’s view of the road and outside the range of airbag deployment. Its use must be in compliance with the provisions of Republic Act 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

Implementing government agencies include the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

If passed into law, operators of PUVs caught without a dashcam shall be fined Php 500,000.

The bill is currently pending at the House Committee on Transportation chaired by Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento.