Car Seats For Kids: All You Need To Know About The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act

Yes, now all kids below 12 years old need to be in car seats!

Finally! Starting February 2, 2021, the implementation of Republic Act No. 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act

will be in full effect. This means that children aged 12 and below are prohibited from sitting in the front seat in private motor vehicles and be secured in in a child restraint system (car seat) appropriate to the child’s age, weight and height and approved by the DTI.

What parents need to know about the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act

1. The LTO will start ticketing violators until two to six months from now

Although the act was signed into law in 2019, it will only be fully implemented starting February 2, 2021. However, LTO’s Law Enforcement Service Robert Valera says that they will be on “warning mode and information dissemination” for now to ensure a smooth transition. The LTO, however, will fine you P2,000 if they catch you sitting in a car without a mask on.

2. The law applies to children who are 12 years old and below

According to RA 11229

, if your child is 12 years old or below, measuring 4’11 and below, he or she must have a car seat. And no, they can’t sit beside you in the front seat. All car seats used must be appropriate for the child’s height, age and weight. Is your child taller than 4’11 and 12 years old or below? Then no, he or she does NOT need a car seat.

3. You can’t use just any car seat

No, you can’t just buy the first car seat you see or even buy used car seats. As above, they need to be height, age and weight appropriate and should be purchased from an importer, distributor or seller who has an Import Clearance Certificate license or Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) Philippine Standards (PS) mark license.

They should meet the standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and follow the CRS standards under United Nations Regulations 44 and 149. However, these standards are always evolving, so be sure to read up! And yes, the DTI will be releasing a list of approved car seats soon!

4. You need to have your current car seat approved by the LTO

Got a car seat? You can have it inspected by the LTO. Once your car seat passes inspection, they’ll give you a certificate of approval.

5. You’ll get penalized if you don’t follow the rules!

Fines for violating the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act starts at P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense and P3,000 for the use of inappropriate CRS. For the third and succeeding offenses, you could get fined P5,000 and get your driver’s license suspended for one year. Don’t even think about tampering with the stickers — you’ll need to pay the hefty sum of P50,000 for every child restraint system.

It doesn’t matter if your child hates being in a car seat, safety always comes first! And yes, it may be another expense but a very, very worthy one, we think!

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