REELECTIONIST Senator JV Ejercito, a staunch road safety advocate, on Thursday hailed the enactment into law of his pro-kids measure giving protection to children and infant passengers of land vehicles.
President Duterte earlier signed Republic Act No. 11229, or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, which Ejercito pushed in the Senate.
“This is good news. The child protection measure that I had pushed in the Senate is now a law. As a father who deeply cares for the health and well-being of our citizens, especially our children who are the future of this nation, I welcome and consider this as one of the most valuable laws that we have ever crafted,” Ejercito said in a statement.
Ejercito is the principal author and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 1971 entitled “An Act Providing for the Special Protection of Child Passengers in Motor Vehicles and Providing Appropriations Thereof.”
He also expresses gratitude to Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, for conducting public hearings on his bill that led to its approval in the Senate.
Under the law, it is unlawful for the driver of a covered vehicle not to properly secure at all times a child, in a child restraint system (CRS), while the engine is running or transporting such child on any road, street, or highway. The CRS shall be appropriate to the child’s age, height, and weight.
A CRS, or car child seat, is a tool specifically designed to protect infants and young children (12 years and below) during a collision or sudden stop by restraining their movement away from the vehicle structure and distributing the forces of a crash over the strongest parts of the body, with minimum damage to the soft tissues.
“It reduces the likelihood of a road crash fatality by approximately 70 percent among infants, and between 54 percent and 80 percent among young children,” he said.
Ejercito, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, said from 2006 to 2014 alone, 5,960 children died due to road crashes, or an average of 662 deaths per year, or 55 deaths per month, or 1 death per day.
He also said that records from the Metro Manila Development Authority revealed that the top vehicle type involved in the recorded Metro Manila road crashes in 2017 was car vehicle resulting in the injury of 7,861 people and the death of 97 individuals.
“I push for this measure having in mind the safety of my children and the children of all parents. Spending for additional safety measures will be nothing compared to the cost of injuries of a crash. We should be mindful that no price can compare to a child’s life that is at stake every day on the road,” he said. ######