2 bills seek stricter road safety policies

MANILA-- Two measures were filed by Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito on Wednesday seeking to impose stricter policies on road safety.

One of these was the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act of 2017 or SBN 1447, which proposes the use of a child restraint system designed to protect infants and children from effects of the sudden stop of vehicles.

Ejercito, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said the passage of such law would be timely as more families now prefer to use their own vehicles to get to their destination.

He further said that when correctly installed and used depending on the child's size, height and weight, child restraints are proven to reduce fatal injuries among infants by approximately 70 percent.

The senator explained said that while the use of seat belts to reduce death among drivers and passengers is mandatory, the law only protects adults and is not purposely adapted for infants and children.

"The lack of a road safety law that targets children and infants is what I would want to address. This is why I am seeking to pass the use of a Child Restraint Systems in private vehicles, Ejercito said in filing the measure.

Ejercito's other measure is the Anti-Overloading Act of 2017 or SBN 1446, meant to impose stiffer penalties on public utility vehicle (PUV) operators violating the prescribed maximum capacity of vehicles as stated in the law.

He said this will prevent freak accidents, citing the overloaded bus that fell into a 100-feet ravine in Nueva Ecija last month.

His bill proposes a PHP50,000 penalty including suspension of franchise for the first offense; PHP250,000 including suspension of franchise for the second offense; and PHP1 million and revocation of franchise for the third offense.

Meanwhile, Ejercito said that if there are fatalities in the accident, those accountable for the deaths should be subjected to two years and one day up to six years of prison correctional

"We have to update and strictly implement the law because in reality, almost all public utility vehicles have a habit of overloading vehicles at the expense of passengers' comfort and safety. We should be strict on these particularly for vehicles traversing mountainous passes," Ejercito said.

He pointed out that these measure were filed in celebration of the 4th UN Global Road Safety Week.

Source: Philippines News Agency