The office of the local traffic enforcer in our municipality issued a reminder to all motorcycle riders in our community that they will be starting to apprehend and penalize motorcycle drivers caught illegally carrying children as their passengers. This is allegedly pursuant to a national law. We are confused about this traffic law. Is there really a law that prohibits children to ride motorcycles? If so, are there any exceptions to this? Please enlighten us about this rule. Thank you for your time. God bless!
Considering the prevalence of the use of motorcycles in our country as a means of transportation, it is only necessary that proper measures are put into place to ensure the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers. As part of the policy of the state to pursue a more proactive and preventive approach in securing the safety of children passengers in the operation of motorcycles along roads and highways, it enacted Republic Act No. 10666 known as the Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015.
The law provides for specific conditions when a child can board a motorcycle and when he or she is prohibited to ride it. According to the law, it is unlawful for any person to drive a motorcycle with a child on board on public roads where there is heavy volume of vehicles, there is high density of fast moving vehicles, or where a speed limit of more than 60 kph is imposed. However, a child is allowed to board a motorcycle on public roads if the child can comfortably reach the standard food peg of a motorcycle; if the child’s arm can reach around and grasp the waist of the motorcycle rider; and if the child is wearing a law-compliant standard protective helmet.
(Sec. 4, Id.) It is important to note the law provides for an exception from the abovementioned conditions in cases where a child requires transportation for immediate medical attention. (Sec. 5, Id.)
Please note the law provides for specific penalties for the violation of its provisions. According to the law, any person who operates a motorcycle in violation of the abovementioned prohibited acts shall be fined P3,000 for the first offense; P5,000 for the second offense; and P10,000 for the third and succeeding offenses. In addition to these fines, the driver’s license of the offender on the third offense shall be suspended for one month while violation of the provisions beyond the third time shall result to automatic revocation of the driver’s license. (Sec. 6, Id.)
By virtue of the law, motorcycle riders are thus mandated to follow and observe the aforementioned specific requirements on children riding motorcycles, not only to avoid the penalties prescribed by law but most importantly to ensure their safety and of all motorcycle riders.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org