LTO: No apprehensions yet amid implementation of child car seat law

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) said that there will be no apprehensions yet for violators of the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said that the agency will first focus on a massive information, education, and communication campaign about the newly-implemented law and will not issue citation tickets to violators.

“Hindi po gagawin ng LTO na mag-penalize agad o magbigay ng kaukulang sanction doon sa mga lumalabag. But, ang panawagan po is, again, we seek the cooperation of everyone para tunay pong marating ‘yung purpose po nitong batas na ito— ma-reduce natin to the bare minimum ‘yung mga insidente kung saan ‘yung mga bata ang nadi-disgrasya,” Galvante said.

“Huwag kayong mangamba na huhuliin ang lumalabag at pagmumultahin ng malaki. Hindi po ‘yun ang unang-unang gagawin natin, kundi, uulitin ko rin—na palawigin natin ang kaalaman, para ‘yung kooperasyon ng madla ang maging response sa pag-effect nitong batas na ito,” he added.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier said that the LTO “is in the process of finalizing enforcement protocols, considering that special training is needed due to the involvement of children.”

“Last week, LTO emphasized, during an online press briefing, that violators will have no fines for now and will initially be warned and given information materials about the law. According to LTO, issuances of fines/ imposition of driver’s license demerit points may be done in three to six months,” it explained.

“Both the DOTr and LTO are in agreement that a deferment of the full implementation/enforcement of this new rule is warranted, especially given our current economic situation amid this still raging pandemic,” it added.

The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, which was signed by President Duterte in February 2019, prohibits kids 12 years old and below from taking the front seats in vehicles. Apart from that, the law also requires motorists to use child restraint systems, unless the child is at least 4.92 feet tall and can be properly secured using a regular seat belt. 

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