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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Sanchez: No child’s play

FINALLY starting in May 2017, parents who are motorcycle users who have a small child as a passenger shall be penalized under the Children’s Safety on Motorcycle Act of 2015.

Otherwise known as Republic Act 10666, the law bans minors from sitting in front of a motorcycle rider. It applies to public roads nationwide and shall be implemented by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Children will be allowed as backriders only if they could comfortably reach the foot peg of the motorcycle and reach around the waist of the rider. They should also wear standard protective helmet.

Violators face a fine of P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 for the second offense, and P10,000 plus one month suspension of driver’s license for the third offense.

A fourth violation will automatically result in the revocation of the driver’s license.

The LTO can deputize members of the Philippine National Police, and local government units to carry out the enforcement. In case of accidents that results in injuries or death of the child passenger, motorcycle drivers will be imprisoned for one year in addition to the penalties provided for in the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

According to the LTO, the measure is a proactive and preventive approach to ensure the safety of child passengers.

I agree. The Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) arrested most of erring drivers near schools while transporting their children.

Except that BTAO is strictly implementing City Ordinance 469, an ordinance banning motorcycle riders from allowing a child below seven years old as rider.

Penalties are lighter than the national law. For first offense, the violator was given a traffic ticket and a warning; second offense, issuance of traffic citation ticket and a fine of P100; and for third offense, a citation ticket and a fine of P500 with recommendation for revocation of driver’s license.

“We are intensifying our operations against erring drivers to ensure the safety of children. The parents should avoid transporting their children as tandem rider because we will arrest them,” warned BTAO head Superintendent Luisito Acebuche.

In the Philippines, road traffic injury is the second most common type of accidents among children ages 5 to 12, with 263 children falling victim to road crashes every day.

So whether it’s the national or the city ordinance gets enforced, just do it. The lives of our children depend on it. Sic the book on irresponsible parents who think that despite the stats they’re beyond accidents.

Better the parents get penalized rather than children who suffer from loss of lives or limbs. Losing them are no child’s play.

(bqsanc@yahoo.com)
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