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Draft Bill

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The proposed bill seeks to protect and minimize death and injury of children from
road crashes by imposing safety standards in the transportation of children in
private motor vehicles, particularly with the use of child restraint devices.

Road safety is one of the pervasive issues of public health. The United Nations
General Assembly in April 10, 2014 noted that road traffic injuries and deaths
seriously threaten global health, social and economic progress, and sustainable
development. It adopted a resolution entitled Improving Global Road Safety which
expressed concern about the consistently high rates of road traffic deaths across
countries. Countries, especially developing countries, are at high risk to road safety
due to their economic growth and rapid motorization, and where demands for
progress often outweigh priorities to road safety.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2015 reported that about 1.25 million road
traffic deaths occur annually. It is considered as the top cause of death in the youth
bracket of all populations (15-29 years of age) and the sixth leading cause of death
among children 5-9 years. In addition, about 90% of the worlds road deaths take
place in low- and middle-income countries despite the comprising only 50% of the
worlds vehicles. In the Philippines, road traffic injuries caused 8,725 deaths in 2013.
About 8% of these deaths (698) were among children 1-14 years.

WHO predicts that road crashes will become the 7th most prevalent cause of death
worldwide by 2030, surpassing infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, if
no actions are taken to address this concern. At present, only 7% of the worlds
population are under a comprehensive set of laws addressing the five risk factors in
road safety, namely: non-use of helmets, seatbelts and child restraints, distracted
driving, over-speeding, and drugged/drunk-driving. In the Philippines, various laws,
policies and plans were crafted, developed and passed at the national level and
adopted locally. However, there is no national legislation on child restraints.

Children are at a higher risk to road crashes compared to adults. Given their frail
bodies, normal injuries to adults could ultimately be fatal to children. They require
special care and treatment to avoid threat to life. Hence, child restraint systems
during travel have been proven to be one of the best measures of protection. Child
restraint systems, if and when correctly installed and used, have been proven to
reduce fatal injuries among infants by approximately 70%, and among children
aged 1 to 4 years by 54%. These findings been heavily supported by case studies in
developed countries like Germany, USA and Australia. Legislation for the mandatory
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use of a child restraint system in the Philippines should therefore be considered to


address the life-saving benefits attributed to the use of this system.

AN ACT REQUIRING THE MANDATORY COMPLIANCE BY MOTORISTS OF


PRIVATE VEHICLES WITH CHILDREN PASSENGERS TO USE CHILD RESTRAINT
DEVICES, AND REQUIRING VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS TO RETROFIT THESE
CAR SEAT DEVICES IN ALL THEIR MANUFACTURED VEHICLES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in


Congress assembled:

Section 1. Short Title. This Act shall be known as the "Compulsory Use of Child
Restraint Systems Act"

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. The State recognizes the vital role of the youth
in nation-building and shall promote their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and
social well-being. It is hereby declared the policy of the State to secure and
safeguard its citizenry, particularly the children, as passengers of private motor
vehicles, from the ruinous and extremely injurious effects of vehicular crashes and
mishaps. Towards this end, the State shall pursue a more proactive and preventive
approach in order to secure the safety of the children at all times with the
mandatory enforcement of the use of child restraint systems while these children
are being transported.

Section 3. Definition of Terms. For purposes of this Act, the term:

(a) "Motorist" shall refer to the driver of a motor vehicle.

(b) "Children" shall be any person twelve (12) years old and below.

(c) Child Restraint System shall refer to age and weight-appropriate car
seats and other child restraint devices, such as car beds, seats for infants,
child seats, booster seats, and seats for school children, which are designed
to secure a child in a vehicle and to prevent or lessen injury to its user in the
event of a road crash, and which may be fitted directly to a suitable
anchorage.
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(d) "Private vehicle" shall refer to private motor vehicles. This shall include
cars, taxis, and Transportation Network Vehicle System (TNVS).

Section 4. Mandatory Use of Child Restraint System. A parent, guardian, or


driver who transports a youngster under twelve (12) years of age in all roads and
public thoroughfares, shall properly secure a child in a child restraint system
meeting applicable motor vehicle safety standards; provided that, the proper child
restraint system is used for children weighing 35 kilograms or below and with height
of 121 centimeters and below, as necessary.

Section 5. Children Prohibited to Sit in Front Seat. Children shall be prohibited to


sit in the front seat of a private vehicle.

Section 6. Provisions for Child Restraint System. This Act further requires car
manufacturers, assemblers, and distributors to ensure that child restraint systems
passing the international standards for child restraint devices and the Bureau of
Product Standards (BPS) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), are properly
retrofit, for the distribution and sale of the said vehicles as determined by the IRR.

Section 7. Persons responsible. The provision and installation of the child


restraint system shall be the responsibility of both the vehicle owner and the driver,
except that only the parents and guardians who are also in the vehicle shall be
made responsible to the exclusion of everyone else.

Section 8. Penalties and Fines. In the enforcement of this Act, the LTO shall
impose fines against owners, drivers, parents, and guardians of children transported
in vehicles for violation of this Act.

The following shall be the basis in defining fine and penalty provisions of the IRR to
be promulgated pursuant to Section 11 hereof, provided that six (6) months grace
period shall be allowed to lapse to conduct a nationwide information campaign:

(1) For failure to secure the child passenger to wear the prescribed seat belt
devices and/or failure to require his passengers to wear the prescribed seat belt
device, a minimum fine of Five hundred pesos (P500) but not to exceed One
thousand five hundred pesos (P1,500) for the first violation; a minimum fine of Six
hundred pesos (P600) but not to exceed Two thousand pesos (P2,000) for the
second violation; and a minimum fine of Five hundred pesos (P700) but not to
exceed Five thousand pesos (P5,000) and suspension of driver's license for a period
of one (1) week for the third and succeeding violations.

(2) On any manufacturer, assembler, importer and distributor for every unit found
without child restraint system-ready private vehicle prior to its distribution to the
public, a minimum fine of Five thousand pesos (P5,000) but not to exceed Ten
thousand pesos (P10,000) and suspension of the license to manufacture, assemble,
import or distribute for a period of one (1) year for the first violation; a minimum
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fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000) but not to exceed Twenty thousand pesos
(P20,000) and suspension of the license to manufacture, assemble, import or
distribute for a period of two (2) years for the second violation; and a fine of Twenty
thousand pesos (P20,000) but not to exceed Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000) and
suspension of the license to manufacture, assemble, import or distribute for a
period of five (5) years for the third violation.

Section 9. Nationwide Public Information Campaign. (a) The LTO, in coordination


with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) the Department of Education (DepEd)
and private agencies and organizations, shall undertake a regular nationwide
Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign for the attainment of the
objectives of this Act. The campaign shall stress the safety and health value of child
restraint systems to support the most effective enforcement of this Act.

(b) The LTO, in coordination with the local government units, shall likewise utilize
the services of citizen groups and community organizations for the promotion of
public safety awareness in observance of this Act.

(c) The fines that will be collected for the enforcement of this Act shall be used
exclusively for the implementation of the provisions of this Act, including the
necessary promotion campaigns for the use of child restraint systems.

Section 10. Separability Clause. If any provision, or part hereof, is held invalid or
unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or provision not otherwise affected shall
remain valid and subsisting.

Section 11. Effectivity Clause. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its
publication in at least two (2) national newspapers of general circulation.