DOTR: No fines yet to vehicles without child car seat

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 2) — Transportation officials said they favor the deferment of the full implementation of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Libiran said both the department and the Land Transportation Office “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.”

LTO chief Edgar Galvante also said in a briefing that no sanctions will be imposed yet on motorists who will not have child car seats in their vehicles as required by the law.

Hindi po ang gagawin ng LTO ay mag-penalize agad o magbigay ng sanction… but ang panawagan po ay we seek the cooperation of everyone para marating ang purpose ng batas na ito,” Galvante explained.

[Translation: The LTO will not immediately penalize or impose sanction, but we seek the cooperation of everyone to achieve the purpose of this law.]

Galvante added that violators will first be informed of the new rules and massive information campaign will be held to educate motorists.

Libiran said LTO may strictly implement the new guidelines in at least six months, but she said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade already suggested to extend this for as long as the country is in the pandemic since installation of a child car seat also entails costs.

Otherwise known as Republic Act No. 11229, the measure prohibits children from sitting in the front seat of a motor vehicle and mandates all private car owners to install special seats for children aged 12 years old and below with height of up to 150 centimeters or 4’11’’ to ensure their safety and prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries.

RELATED: LTO: Kids over 4'11 not required to use child car seats

Violators will be fined ₱1,000 to ₱5,000, while suspension of driver’s license will be imposed for one year for the third and succeeding offenses.

Any manufacturer, distributor, importer, retailer, and seller who would compromise the quality of the child restraint system will be penalized between ₱50,000 to ₱100,000 for each product.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, along with Senators Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Sonny Angara, Joel Villanueva, and Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Resolution no. 633 that also pushes for the deferment of its implementation.

They said its rollout should be postponed until the public is sufficiently informed of the law's requirements, a set of guidelines is issued by the LTO for the certification of child car seats, a list of certified brands is issued by the Trade department, and fitting stations are established and accredited by authorities.