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New law bans small children from riding motorcycles starting May 19

Small children are banned from riding motorcycles along national roads and highways nationwide by virtue of the Children's Safety on Motorcycles Act or Republic Act 10666, which takes effect starting Friday, May 19.

"Only children whose feet can reach the foot peg, could wrap their arms around the driver’s waist, and wears protective gear such as a helmet may be allowed to ride on a motorcycle with an adult," Transportation Assistant Secretary Richmund de Leon said in press conference in Mandaluyong City on Wednesday.

Under the RA 10666, any person driving a two-wheeled motorcycle can no longer take a child for a ride along public roads where the volume of vehicle traffic is heavy, or where there is high-density of fast-moving vehicles, and where the speed limit is more than 60 kilometers per hour.

Exemptions apply to cases such as transporting a child under emergency situations and in need of immediate medical attention.

Violators will be fined P3,000 on their first offense, P5,000 on their second offense and P10,000 on their third offense and suspension of driver’s license for a month.

"Violation beyond the third time shall result in automatic revocation of the offender's driver's license," according to RA 10666.

The Land Transportation Office is the lead implementing agency and may deputize traffic officers of the Philippine National Police, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and local government units to enforce the law.

RA 10666 was signed on July 21, 2015 but will only be implemented this year.

"'Yung pag draft ng implementing rules and regulations involves public consultation with various stakeholders. Medyo natagalan ang pag-implement kasi nagkaroon ng gap dahil sa transition into the new administration," De Leon noted.

The Transportation official emphasized the importance of the new law, citing the World Health Organization's 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety. The report noted 53 percent of road fatalities on record in the Philippines involved motorcycle riders. — VDS, GMA News