The House of Representatives has ratified the reconciled version of Senate Bill 2488 and House Bill 4462 or the proposed “Children’s Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015,” which ensures the safety of children aboard motorcycles.
The ratified measure prohibits any person to drive a two-wheeled motorcycle with a child on board on public roads where there is heavy volume of vehicles, high density of fast moving vehicles or where a speed limit of more than 60/kph is imposed.
House Bill 4462, which was sponsored by the House Committee on Transportation chaired by Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes), was a consolidation of House Bills 397, 541 and 2024 authored by Reps. Susan A. Yap (2nd District, Tarlac), Lani Mercado-Revilla (2nd District, Cavite), and Romeo M. Acop (2nd District, Antipolo City), respectively.
Yap expressed alarm over the rising incidents of motorcycle accidents, which are the fourth top cause of death in the Philippines, with an average of 16,208 mishaps recorded every year.
“We must recognize that there is an urgent need for us to address the growing number of motorcycle accidents. We have recognized the safety and well-being of our children to be of paramount importance such as we have filed and approved laws that promote their welfare and safety,” Yap said.
Yap said the measure is as important as the laws prohibiting child labor, child trafficking and child abuse because it seeks to promote the very life of Filipino children. “Children are at a greater risk in riding motorcycles because of their frailty and undeveloped agility,” Yap said.
The ratified measure allows a child to be transported aboard a motorcycle only if he or she can comfortably reach his or her feet on the standard foot peg of the motorcycle.
Aside from wearing a standard protective helmet as required under Republic Act 10054, otherwise known as the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, a child-passenger must also be able to reach around and grasp the waist of the motorcycle rider-driver.
Any violation shall be fined with an amount of P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 for the second offense, and P10,000 for the third and succeeding offenses. Violation beyond the third time shall result to automatic revocation of the offender’s driver’s license.
The ratified measure authorizes the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to increase or adjust the amounts of fines after public consultation once every three years from the effectivity of the proposed Act, in the amount not exceeding 20 percent of the amounts sought.
It also empowers LTO to deputize members of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the LGUs to carry out enforcement functions and duties.
As the lead agency, LTO shall be tasked formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the proposed Act.
The LTO, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the Department of Education (DepEd), and concerned private organizations and agencies, shall undertake a nationwide information and education campaign for a period of three months on the important provisions of this proposed Act and its IRR.
The members of bicameral conference committee are Senators Vicente Sotto III, Juan Edgardo Angara, Gregorio Honasan II, and Teofisto Guingona III, and Reps. Cesar Sarmiento as chairperson, Evelio Leonardia (Lone District, Bacolod City), Acop, Yap and Mercado-Revilla.