Hey there Moms and Dads! Have you heard of the Car Seat Law or RA 11229, but aren’t exactly sure about the specifics? Since the law was signed in February 2019, and was released to the public a month later, it is now officially effective. To know more about this law, we jot down some of the important details! Read on especially if you have a baby along the way. This law now applies to all parents and parents-to-be.
Car seats or child restraint systems should now be on your list of things to buy before the baby comes. If you don’t have one yet, it’s a good idea to purchase one now. It is officially considered illegal for kids ages 12 years old and below to be riding a car without a car seat.
Even if your kids insist on riding beside you in the passenger seat, the answer must be a firm no. If your child is still under the age of 12 and doesn’t meet the 150cm (59 inches) height restriction, then the backseat it is. To reiterate, even if they’re seated in the back, they must be placed in an appropriate child restraint system or car seat.
Sorry, Moms and Dads! You can’t use hand-me downs. It’s safer to invest in a new car seat that meets the United Nations standards for child restraint systems. Car seats would usually have expiration dates stamped on them since plastic material degrades over time. The Car Seat Law mandates that all child restraint systems must be approved by the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) and certified with a Philippine Standards (PS) mark or an Import Clearance Certificate (ICC). So, better make sure the car seats you are purchasing meet legal and safety requirements. The law also states that the BPS will be publishing a list of child restraint systems manufacturers and importers which pass their standards. No date has been specified for the release of this list, but we’ll be sure to update you once news comes out.
This is a safety precaution to reduce risks of injuries in the event of an accident or emergency braking. Babies have weaker neck muscles, so they must be situated in rear-facing seats on a supine position for protection. This will also give you some peace of mind, Moms and Dads.
In relation to the point we mentioned about not using old car seats, you must also use the correct type of car seat which will depend on your child’s height, weight, and age. According to the UN regulations, children who are already above 105cm in height may already be placed in forward facing seats, but babies up to 15 months old and kids below the specified height must still be in rear-facing seats.
Section 4 of the Car Seat Law states that you do not have to use a child restraint system in the event of medical emergencies, and if your child has a medical or developmental condition. The safety and needs of your child will always come first!
There is no exact provision yet for using child restraint systems in public utility vehicles such as jeepneys, school buses, taxis, and vans. The Department of Transportation will be conducting a study to see if car seats are applicable for PUVs. This is something to watch out for.
As we all know, violations come with consequences. Failure to comply with Section 4 (Mandatory Use of Child Restraint System in Motor Vehicle) and Section 5 (Children in Rear Seats) leads to a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, P2,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense plus a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
For more information about the Car Seat Law, you may read RA 11229 which is available publicly.
Republic Act 11229. 22 February 2019.
UN Regulation No. 129. Increasing the Safety of Children in Vehicles. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
Child Restraint Systems. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.