House panel to probe issues hounding child car seat law

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    THE House committee on transportation will look into the issues hounding the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act (Republic Act No. 11229) or the “Child Car Seat Law” which requires private car owners to install special seats for children aged 12 and younger or below 4 feet, 11 inches.

    Samar Rep. Edgar Sarmiento, panel chair, said Speaker Lord Allan Velasco gave the green light for the panel to conduct an inquiry on the matter next Thursday.

    “He (Velasco) really wants a hearing,” Sarmiento told reporters over the phone, adding the panel intends to clarify issues surrounding the implementation of the new law amid public complaints.

    The implementation of the law had been deferred for six months.

    Sarmiento said the inquiry will focus on reviewing the implementing rules and regulations of the law to ensure if there were lapses when it was being crafted.

    LTO director Clarence Guinto earlier drew criticism and ridicule for saying that parents of tall children should just buy bigger vehicles to accommodate booster seats.

    President Duterte signed the law in February last year but its full implementation, set last February 2, had to be postponed to give the Land Transportation Office time to launch an information campaign instead of immediately apprehending violators.

    Only children aged 13 and above and taller than the mandated 150 cm height can sit in front of the vehicle using a seatbelt.

    Vehicle owners who violate the law shall be fined P1,000 for the first offense; P2,000 for the second offense and P5,000 and suspension of the driver’s license for a period of one year for the third and succeeding offenses.

    A heftier fine will be leveled on “manufacturer, distributor, importer, retailer and seller” who violate the rules for product certification-compliant car seats set by the Department of Trade and Industry with a fine of P50,000 to P100,000 for “each and every child restraint system manufactured, distributed, imported and or sold.”