The bright future of infants and children is now within our reach as the Republic Act No. 11229 or known as the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act also called as the Car Seat Law was finally signed last February 22, 2019.
Data gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO) said that more than 600 children die from road crashes in the Philippines alone every year.
Similar to this, Senator JV Ejercito, the principal author and sponsor of this law, presented documents collected from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) that indicates from 2006 to 2014, around 5,960 children died due to road crashes, an average of 662 deaths per year, or 55 deaths per month, or at least 1 death per day.
He also added a data gathered from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) that car was the top type of vehicle involved in the recorded Metro Manila road crashes in 2017 resulting to the injuries of around 7, 861 people and death of 97 individuals.
One of the major functions on approving RA 11229 or Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act is to lessen the road crash fatality among infants and children under the age of 12 by 70%. The figure provided is based on in-depth studies and evidence from the use of a child restraint mechanism or system (CRS – seat belts/car seats) inside a motor vehicle.
The law summarizes two (2) important things:
- The mandatory use of age-appropriate and quality child restraint system (CRS) in motor vehicles
- Children from 12 years old and below will not be allowed in the front seat of a moving vehicle
Violators of the law will receive the following penalties:
- First Offense = 1, 000 Pesos Fine
- Second Offense = 2, 000 Pesos Fine
- Third and Succeeding Offense = 5, 000 Pesos Fine and 1 Year Suspension of Driver’s License
Mandatory provision of a Child Restraint System
The basic fundamental of the new law is the mandatory provision of a Child Restraint System (CRS) in motor vehicles.
Aside from the regular seat belts that we have, a Car Child Seat or CRS is a tool that is particularly designed to protect infants and children from 12 years and below. It works by restraining the movement of the children away from the vehicle structure and distributing the forces of a crash over the strongest parts of the body, with minimum damage to the soft tissues when a collision or sudden stop happens.
Meanwhile, a Buckle-Up Baby event and product exhibition were held recently at the Atrium of the SM Mall of Asia to discuss the importance of CRS for children and the reasons why they need it.
The event was led by SM Retail and Baby Company in partnership with Hyundai where details about the new Car Seat law and what CRS is all about and how it works were discussed to the guests and mall-goers.
The Buckle-Up Baby launch was hosted by Daddy Eric “The Eruption” Tai who talked about the different brands of CRS available in the market today that meets the qualifications detailed by the RA 11229 such as:
SM Retail and CEO Ponciano Manalo Jr., Baby Company Executive Vice President Theresa Ponce, Baby Company ambassadors Edric and Joy Mendoza, and Baby Company SAVP for Marketing Cheryl Justiniano were also seen at the event.
A representative from Hyundai and MMDA Head of Traffic Education Ann Alita Espinosa were also present during the launch.
Prior to the enactment of the law, some car owners who have infant or children are already familiar to the benefits of having a CRS with them and have already bought one because it’s available in the Philippines for years.