Published: February 4, 2021 | Updated: July 23, 2021 | Posted by: Moneymax | Car Insurance
When you drive a car, you’re responsible not only for your own life but also for the safety and well-being of your passengers. If you’re a parent, you know how urgent and grave this responsibility is. So whenever your kid is riding with you, you always make sure that you’re precise when you make a turn, and you carefully navigate streets filled with speed bumps and pedestrians.
The government has the same goals as yours as far as the safety of your child is concerned. This is why Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act has been signed into law in February 2019. The said law, however, will be fully enforced this year after certain rules and regulations have been approved.
You might have a lot of questions in your head, but don’t worry, as we have rounded up the important things that you need to know about this child seat law in the Philippines. That way, you’ll be prepared to hit the road while ensuring that your kids are safe and you avoid committing violations.
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The child car seat law requires the use of child restraint systems (CRS) in the Philippines. CRS refers to child safety seats or booster seats. The law applies to kids who are 12 years old and below and with a height of 4’11” and below.
The CRS should be appropriate to the age of the child, their height, and weight. This is where things get a little bit tricky—some 12-year-olds and 10-year-olds may be tall and heavy enough to fit into a child safety seat. Issues may arise, especially if the car is quite small (e.g. a hatchback). This has been a point of debate, and the best that parents can do right now is to wait for updates and further changes in the regulations.
Don’t forget that the CRS must be mounted in the rear seat of the vehicle.
RA 11229 took effect on February 2, 2021. However, according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), it will only begin the apprehension and ticketing of violators three to six months from now. This means you still have time to buy a child safety seat or adjust the configurations of your vehicle’s seating.
As of now, only private vehicles are mandated to use a child seat. Don’t worry if you’re driving a bike, a tricycle, or a motorcycle, as these vehicles are not covered by the law.
Likewise, public utility vehicles (PUVs), such as jeepneys, taxis, and buses, will not be affected. However, the Department of Transportation will conduct a study to determine the feasibility of CRS in public vehicles.
Motorists who violate the law will have to pay the following penalties:
Again, you still have time, as the LTO will only start apprehending violators three to six months from now.
On the other hand, companies that manufacture, distribute, import, and retail substandard or tampered car seats will also be penalized. They’ll have to pay a fine between PHP 50,000 and PHP 100,000.
Installing a child car seat is very much worth it, as it limits the movement of the body during a car collision.
In fact, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Status Report on Road Safety, child car seats lower the risk of death or injury by 80%. The WHO also notes that wearing only a seat belt reduces the risk by just 32%.
Find out if the brand’s CRS specifications are compliant with the standards of the law.
To prevent anyone from using poor-quality child car seats, the child car seat law in the Philippines requires the use of CRS with a Philippine Standards (PS) seal or an Import Clearance Certificate (ICC) sticker.
Parents and guardians must use a car seat that suits a child’s age, weight, and height. To know the right type of car seat to buy for your children, use the online car seat finder tool of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Simply enter your child’s birthdate, height, and weight.
It also helps to know the five child car seat types:
Usually, owner’s manuals have a section dedicated to child safety. There, you may see which dimensions and specifications of CRS suit your car.
Brand-new child car seats in the Philippines cost around PHP 5,000 on average, according to a 2017 study on car seat affordability by the Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies at the University of the Philippines Manila.
If you’re looking for options, we’ve listed a few car seats offered by trusted brands in the country.
If you’re looking for infant seats that are light and easy to install and don’t take up too much space, Enfant may be the brand for you. Enfant car seats are generally made of durable plastic.
Car seats under this brand have curvy designs to easily accommodate your kid. For comfort, the seat is wrapped in gentle fabric. This is a good choice for parents looking for an entry-level CRS.
If you’re looking for a car seat with deluxe cushioning and a practical harness system, consider the items from this brand. Some car seats have a one-hand turn mechanism to make car seat rotation convenient.
The baby brand has a range of car seats, such as the KeyFit line, which can be assembled in 30 clicks. Chicco’s Unico line, on the other hand, can accommodate a child from birth to 12 years old.
This is a big NO. All car owners in the Philippines are required to purchase and install car seats that are checked and approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The car seats that you’ll install should also be designed according to the standards articulated in the UN Regulations 44 and 149. Eventually, the DTI will release a list of brands that have satisfied the requirements of the law.
Ensuring your kids’ safety in your car goes beyond the car seats that you install. As such, you need to set up and observe measures that will boost your family’s safety.
Here are some tips on child safety in cars:
Your kids’ safety as you drive is and will always be important. While keeping children safe in a car can be quite tedious and even expensive, just remember that their lives are precious and priceless that car seats and other safety features should be all worth the trouble and cost.
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