CRS Mea Culpa

After all the hew and cry over making Child Restraint Systems (CRS), or child car seats, mandatory for children 12 years old and below in private motorized vehicles, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) now says it won’t be imposing penalties for violators of Republic Act No. 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, yet. Yet is the key word here.

Meanwhile, the LTO says what it will do now is to widen public awareness of RA 11229 which also makes it unlawful for children 12 years old and below, and shorter than 4’11’’ to occupy the front seats of moving vehicles, or to be left unattended inside a private vehicle.
LTO chief Edgar Galvante also called on the public to help in the dissemination of the law mandating car seat use and prohibitions against putting infants, toddlers and small children in danger while inside vehicles.

In an LTO-Department of Transportation (DOTr) press release, Galvante is quoted as saying: “Ang ginagawa lang po natin ngayon ay pinapalawak ang kaalaman ng madla. Kung sakaling may makikitang lumabag dito, papaalalahanan ang mga ito na ang batas ay sa kapakanan ng ating mga mahal sa buhay—mga anak man, kapatid na bata o sinuman.”
The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for RA 11229 were approved back in December of 2019. And full implementation was supposed to have begun on Feb. 2, 2021.
The act itself was passed by Congress on Dec. 11, 2018, and signed in to law in February of 2019.

These dates are significant as they point to the fact that by now, more than a year after the IRR for RA 11229 was approved, car owners and others affected and covered by the law—these include the implementors of the IRR themselves— should have known about the mandatory use of car seats and boosters.

In the same press release, the LTO said that under the law, a private car owner should purchase and install CRS or car seat that is approved by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and is manufactured following the acceptable universal standards stated in UN Regulation Nos. 44 and 129. It added that approved car seats will be installed at fitting and installation areas.

But the hew and cry that followed news reports about the impending law on mandatory use of car seats indicated that most car owners were caught unaware by RA 11229 coming into force.

Questions are now being asked.

What brands and types of car seats or boosters have been approved by DTI? Does it even have a list?

Where are the fitting and installation areas? At LTO main and satellite branches? Does the LTO even have a process in place for proper fitting and installation?

Who are supposed to be enforcing RA 11229 out on the streets? Have traffic rule enforcers been given the proper training and instruction on what types of car seats and boosters are approved for use?

In many countries around the world, car seats are mandatory for children riding in vehicles. Although each country has its own set of rules regarding proper use of car restraint systems based on age, weight, height and other parameters meant to ensure safety of those using them.

Some observers note that mea culpas should be expected from those tasked to implement RA 11229, those tasked to disseminate information about the law meant to protect children from injury in vehicles, even those from media itself which should have given the law and its implementing more coverage given its importance.

Perhaps parents themselves should also be included among those expected to plead mea culpas.

Car seats and booster seats have been gathering dust in many local department stores and malls for years now. But absent laws making them mandatory, many parents have chosen to ignore the need to buy them for the sake of their children’s safety.
As many road safety advocates are saying: If one can afford to buy a car, one should be able to afford a car seat for children.

Subway pageantry

Underground construction for the Metro Manila Subway should begin soon after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) unveiled the giant cutter head for the first of tunnel boring machines that will do the heavy work for the project long on drawn board but now only reaching the implementation stage.

The idea for a subway system in Metro Manila has long been bandied about in past administrations since a study on a proposed line was conducted way back in 1973 by the Japan Overseas Technical Cooperation Agency, the predecessor of the Japan International Cooperation.

It is only now, after almost half a century, that a subway is being built in Metro Manila. So perhaps it is understandable that the DOTr unveiled the 74-ton cutter head with some pomp and pageantry.

During the arrival ceremony, the DOTr also unveiled the name it has given the first of the tunnel boring machines for the subway system—Kaunlaran.

“This Tunnel Boring Machine symbolizes its name, ‘Kaunlaran.’ Today, we ask you as we applaud the coming of ‘Kaunlaran’—I ask you in joining us in riding the Philippines’ first metro subway dahil ito ‘ho ay paglakbay papunta sa kaunlaran,” said DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade in his message at the ceremony.

The DOTr said the arrival of the first TBM cutter head signals the continuous arrival of the other TBM equipment and materials.

The remaining parts of the TBM are expected to arrive soon and will be transported to the construction site for assembly.

Tugade is pressing the subway proponents and private partners to have the partial operability section of the project to be completed before 2021 ends.

EV ready

A study commissioned by Nissan showed that car owners in Southeast Asian countries are ready to buy electric vehicles.

Filipinos and their Southeast Asian neighbors continue to be highly enthusiastic about owning an electrified vehiclem,” according to the study entitled, “The Future of Electrified Vehicles in Southeast Asia,” undertaken by Frost & Sullivan.

The findings of the study were released during the “Nissan FUTURES – Electrification and Beyond” event.

According to consumer research conducted in the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, nearly two-thirds or 64 percent or respondents said they are more willing to consider an electrified vehicle than they were five years ago.

The study said 45 percent of Filipino car drivers who were polled said they would certainly consider an electrified vehicle as their next car purchase within the next three years. The reason cited was their concern for the environment and climate change.

More than a third of respondents across the region indicated they would shift to electric vehicles if government provides tax incentives and if charging stations are established at apartment buildings.

Around 3,000 drivers participated in the study aimed at understanding customers’ awareness, attitudes, behavior and perceptions toward electrified vehicles.

5th Maxus

Maxus Philippines has rolled the D60, the fifth model in its local lineup.
Launched in two variants, the five-seater 1.5T Pro and the seven-seater 1.5T Elite, the Maxus D60 is powered by a four-cylinder 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine coupled to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission that generates 169ps and 250Nm of torque.

Maxus said the D60 exterior design is based on the Maxus Tarantula Concept, which perfectly reflects the bold, active, and dynamic urban lifestyle of young professionals and growing families.

It also claims the D60 has the roomiest cabin in the SUV segment.

Happy Motoring!!!

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