Full enforcement of child car seat law should be deferred amid pandemic: DOTr, LTO

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 02 2021 09:45 AM | Updated as of Feb 02 2021 11:52 AM

LTO officers hand out leaflets about land transportation laws to motorists along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City on February 2, 2021, the first day of the full implementation of the "Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act". Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

The Department of Transportation and Land Transportation Office are backing the deferment of the full implementation of the Child Car Seat Law mandating children to be seated in car seats while inside motor vehicles to ensure their protection in the event of an accident.

"Both the DOTr and LTO are in agreement that a deferment of the full implementation/enforcement of this new rule is warranted, especially given our current economic situation amid this still raging pandemic," the DOTr said in a statement. 

The full implementation of Republic Act No. 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, begins February 2, 2021, meaning children aged 12 and below must be properly secured in appropriate car seats while traveling in a private motor vehicle.

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In its statement, the DOTr said the law was passed by Congress and signed by President Duterte in February 22, 2019. The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) was approved last December 23, 2019 and took effect on February 2020. 

"This is not just a policy or rule implemented by the DOTr nor LTO on its own volition," DOTr said. 

It said there will be a one-year transitory period before the mandatory compliance with the law as stated in the IRR. 

It said deferment of the full enforcement of the law should be done until a comprehensive information, education, and communications campaign is executed in close coordination with NGOs, CSOs, and agencies such as the Philippine Information Agency, Department of Education and Department of Health. 

An LTO official earlier came under fire after saying that families with taller kids should get bigger cars in order to comply with the law, which takes effect today. 

LTO-National Capital Region director Clarence Guinto later apologized for his remark.

"I am sorry for the confusion I have caused with my remark, which was made in jest. I realized now that it was inappropriate," Guinto, a lawyer, said. 

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