House OKs motorbike safety for children bill

By Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 13 2014 04:42 AM | Updated as of Jun 13 2014 12:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The House of Representatives has passed on third and final reading earlier this week a bill that restricts the number of passengers, including children, riding motorcycles to promote road safety.

House Bill 4462 or the proposed “Motorcycle Safety for Children Act” was principally authored by Reps. Lani Mercado-Revilla (Cavite), Susan Yap (Tarlac), Romeo Acop (Antipolo), and Cesar Sarmiento (Catanduanes), who chairs the committee on transportation that sponsored the measure.

The measure, which is pending in the Senate, seeks to prohibit any person from transporting children below the age of 10 on a motorcycle along roads and highways unless the child is wearing a protective helmet that meets or exceeds standards set by law; the child can comfortably reach the footrests of the motorcycle; and the child can reach around and grasp the waist of the driver.

The bill also seeks to limit the number of motorcycle passengers to two, including the driver, except in remote areas wherein the child to be transported needs immediate medical attention, or in an emergency situation.

Under the measure, violators will be penalized with a fine not exceeding P3,000 for the first offense; P5,000 for the second offense; and P10,000 for the third and succeeding offenses.

For the second and third offense, the driver’s license of the offender shall be suspended for one month. Subsequent violations shall result in the automatic revocation of the offender’s driver’s license.

The bill also empowers the Land Transportation Office to adjust the amounts of the fines after public consultations once every three years, the conduct of a study on the matter, and monitoring “relevant indices” such as the Consumer Price Index.