Ultimate Guide to Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act: “Child Car Seat Law in the Philippines”

Starting today, February 2, 2021, the Department of Transportation will fully implement the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act (Republic Act No. 11229).

As a parent, our child’s safety is our priority, and using a car seat is the best way to protect them while inside the car. Seat belts were not designed for children, and our embrace may not save them if accidents happen.

In this blog post, I’ll talk about everything you need to know about the “Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act” and answer the most frequently asked questions.

The Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act (Republic Act No. 11229), more popularly known in social media as “Child Car Seat Law in the Philippines”, is a law that aims to save children’s lives and reduce injuries in car-related accidents like collisions.

  • Usage of Car Restraint Systems (CRS) aka car seats
  • Prohibition to use substandard and expired Car Restraint Systems (CRS) aka car seats
  • Properly securing the child in their appropriate car seat
  • Children are not allowed to sit in front of a vehicle (passenger’s seat and/or driver seat)
  • Children are not allowed to be left unattended inside the vehicle

According to Republic Act No. 11229, the use of car restraint systems (CRS) is mandatory for children aged 12 years old and below and children with a height of 4′ 11″ and below.

There are several types of CRS. You must get the appropriate car seat based on your child’s age, height, and weight. 

Please also take note of the following:

  • It should not be past the expiration date indicated by the manufacturer
  • It must meet the product safety standards by the Bureau of Philippine Standards of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-BPS)
  • It should be compliant with the United Nations Regulations No. 44 

As of writing, DTI hasn’t published a list of brands that has a Philippine Standards mark or an Import Clearance Certificate.

Usually, sellers assist in installing the car seats. Manufacturers will also provide an instruction manual.

LTO will also set up fitting stations, and implement training programs on its installations, usage, and maintenance.

You can also check out this blog by Top Gear – How to properly mount Isofix child safety seats

Go to the nearest LTO branch to have your seat checked. They will physically check the product. Once passed, they’ll provide a certificate stating that it was inspected and safe to use.

YES! Here are the penalties to a driver caught violating the law:

First offense – Php 1,000
Second offense – Php 2,000
Third offense (and succeeding offenses) – Php 5,000 and a 1-year suspension of driver’s license.

For drivers using car seats that are substandard, expired, or without PS Mark, ICC Sticker, or LTO clearance:
First offense – Php 1,000
Second offense – Php 3,000
Third offense (and succeeding offenses) – Php 5,000 and a 1-year suspension of driver’s license.

Violations on production, distribution, importation, sale, and tampering or forgery of certification stickers will have Php 50,000 – Php 100,000 penalty to manufacturers, importers and sellers.

The law applies to covered motor vehicles. According to Atty. Daphne Marcelo, policy associate for road safety at public-interest law firm Imagine Law – “If we look at the definition of terms, covered vehicles so far are private motor vehicles, so these are the cars that are privately owned or those also being rented under a lease,”

For other forms of public utility vehicles like jeepneys, buses, taxis, and ride-hailing vehicles, the DOTr is still studying it. They will make a recommendation if it is needed.

  1. If your children are below 12 years old but over 4′ 11″, you won’t need a car seat. He/She can just use the car’s seatbelt.
  2. There is also an exemption during a medical emergency. 
  3. If your child has a medical or developmental disability, they can be exempted too. Make sure to provide a medical certificate from a licensed physician.

The law is now being implemented. LTO Chief Assistant Secretary (Asec.) Edgar C. Galvante clarified that there will be no strict enforcement of the law for the meantime, and that instead of apprehensions, the Agency will focus on information dissemination about the new law, in coordination with other government agencies such as the Philippine Information Agency, the Department of Education, the DTI, and the private sector. Source

Yes! As a parent, it is our responsibility to follow this law. We can stop child deaths in cars.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research has shown that using age- and size-appropriate child restraints (car seats, booster seats, and seat belts) is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries in a crash. They also found that child passenger deaths have decreased by 43%. Source

  • It keeps the child in the vehicle
  • It prevents the child from hitting the vehicle interior or intruding objects
  • Directs the forces to the strongest parts of the body (hips and shoulders) and distributes the force over a wide area
  • Protects the head, neck, brain, and spinal cord
  • Help occupant ride down the crash (like catching the egg)


Final Thoughts

So that’s about it 🙂 I hope this blog has helped you better understand the new law. 

If you need more information, here is the implementing rules and regulations link. You can also reach out to DOTr or LTO.

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