Buckle Up: Child car seat law is still under “soft enforcement,” LTO says

An official of Land Transportation Office (LTO) has reiterated that the Republic Act (RA) No. 11229 or the ‘Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act’ is still currently under “soft enforcement” with no fines yet for violators.

Radyoman Rod Marcelino was joined by LTO deputy director for law enforcement Roberto Valera on Saturday, January 15, during the premiere of Buckle Up!, RMN’s new program aimed at providing listeners with information regarding the new RA 11229.

Marcelino brought up criticisms by many Filipinos that the new policy would be an additional cost to financially struggling households during the current pandemic, besides, children are mostly restricted to go outside. In response, Valera said that LTO have listened and is currently focused on educating drivers and parents during the soft enforcement. “Ito ‘yung pagbibigay ng information, education, and communications (IEC) flyers and materials,” Valera said.

He also shared that no violators will be fined thus far, however, once the “hard enforcement” phase begins, drivers will be fined PHP1,000 for the first offense, PHP2,000 for the second offense, and PHP5,000 plus a one-year suspension of driver’s license on the third offense. A specific date is yet to be available for the full implementation of the policy.

Meanwhile, for those who use expired or non-compliant child car seats, Valera said the fines will begin with PHP1,000 for the first offense, PHP3,000 for the second offense, and PHP5,000 plus a one-year suspension of driver’s license for the third offense. For non-compliant manufacturers or sellers of child car seats, as well as those who fake compliance stickers, a fine of PHP50,000 to PHP100,000 will be carried out.

Elsewhere, Valera reminded listeners of the provisions of the RA 11229, which states that children 12 years old and below with a height of 4 foot 11 inches and below are required to use child restraint systems (CRS). He added that these CRS must be appropriate to a child’s age, height, weight, and must be mounted in a rear seat of the vehicle.

“You cannot put a price on the life of our children,” Valera said towards the end of the interview. He continued with the assurance that he’s a road safety advocate himself and encouraged parents to give importance to child car seats. “Proactive kami na maiwasan natin na may isang bata ang masaktan o mamatay dahil hindi gumamit ng child restraining system.”

For more information regarding RA 11229, listen to Buckle Up! from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM every Saturdays on Radyo DZXL 558.

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