What you need to know: Law ensuring kids' safety on motorcycles
MANILA, Philippines – Beginning Friday, May 19, the law banning small children from riding as passengers on motorcycles will take effect.
According to Republic Act 10666 or the Children's Safety on Motorcycles Act of 2015, riders of two-wheeled motor vehicles are not allowed to travel with a small child on board.
Based on the implementing rules and regulations, children below 18 years old may be allowed to board a motorcycle only in the following cases:
- If the child passenger can comfortably reach his or her feet on the standard foot peg of the motorcycle
- If the child's arms can reach around and grasp the waist of the motorcycle driver
- If the child is wearing the standard protective helmet or gear
Children are also prohibited from sitting in front of the rider.
But there is an exemption: the law won't apply in cases of medical emergencies, if the child to be transported needs immediate medical help.
Violators will be charged P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 for the second offense, and P10,000 with a one-month suspension of the driver's license for the third offense. For succeeding offenses, the driver's license will automatically be revoked.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is the lead implementing agency of the law, which aims to secure the safety of child passengers.
The Land Transportation Office will deputize members of the Philippine National Police, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and local government units to enforce the law.
Based on figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority, an average of 671 children died every year in road crashes in the Philippines from 2006 to 2014. Among the children, the most vulnerable are those 5-9 years old, and those 10-14. (IN NUMBERS: Road crash incidents in the Philippines)
In 2014 alone, 253 children aged 5-9 and 195 children aged 10-14 died.
Motorcycle injuries are also one of the top causes of road crash deaths, comprising 56% of the total identified transport cases nationwide.
Motorcycle riders have also been the top victims of road crashes in Metro Manila since 2010. (READ: Road deaths in PH: Most are motorcycle riders, pedestrians) – Hannah Mallorca / Rappler.com
Hannah Mallorca is a Rappler intern.