On proper car seat installation and inspection
In preparation for the start of mandatory compliance with Republic Act No. (R.A.) 11229 or the “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act” this February 2021, non-profit organization ImagineLaw with the support of international organizations Global Road Safety Partnership and Global Health Advocacy Incubator invited childhood injury prevention experts from Kidsafe Western Australia (WA) to train representatives from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to inspect and install child restraint systems (CRS).
Enforcers from LTO Central Office and 17 LTO regional offices attended the training on January 12 and 13, as part of their commitment to provide fitting and inspection services to the public. Emphasizing the importance of the training, LTO Law Enforcement Service Director Clarence Guinto stated that “[the LTO’s] goal is to keep all children safe on Philippine roads and [LTO] will make that happen by ensuring that all LTO regional offices are equipped with the knowledge to effectively install and inspect car seats.”
“In 2017, the Philippine Statistics Authority determined that 1,226 children below 14 years old died on Philippine roads due to crashes,” according to Natasha Daphne Marcelo, ImagineLaw’s project manager for Road Safety. “That is at least three children a day. Of these numbers, 134 children were motor vehicle passengers.”
The training, led by Kidsafe WA, included sessions emphasizing the importance of using CRS when travelling. Melita Jefferies, Manager of Kidsafe WA, also highlighted the importance of correctly installing and using CRS by demonstrating through a video the types of injuries that may occur when the CRS is not correctly installed or used.
“Incorrect fitting and incorrect use of CRS pose a great risk to children involved in road crashes. It could result to death or serious injuries as a result of being thrown out of the vehicle altogether, being ejected from the car that they are in, or hitting the vehicle interior whether in the seat in front of them, the glass, or the window,” Jefferies explained.
Kidsafe WA also emphasized the importance of selecting the appropriate type of CRS based on the age, height, and weight of the child. Jefferies pointed out that it is equally important to use an appropriate car seat, otherwise it will offer no protection to the child once the vehicle is involved in a road crash.
Using the CRS units that ImagineLaw donated to LTO last week, the participants were trained on proper installation, use, maintenance, and inspection of CRS. Following the classroom sessions, Kidsafe WA will conduct an online practical skills assessment to evaluate the participants’ capacity to provide fitting and inspection services. Participants from each region will be required to complete and pass their written and practical skills assessment before being certified as fitters by Kidsafe WA.