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LTO: Children too tall for car seats may use seat belts

Children 12 years or younger who are already too tall for car seats may use seat belts instead, an official from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) said Monday amid concerns on the implementation of a new law.

According to Dano Tingcungco’s “24 Oras” report, the LTO will conduct an information drive for “three to six months” to educate drivers about the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act.

The full implementation of the law will begin on February 2.

Under this law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year, children 12 years and younger must be in car seats and banned from taking the front seat in private vehicles.

However, LTO Deputy Director for Law Enforcement Roberto Valera said taller kids may be allowed to use seat belts instead.

“If we follow the law strictly, dapat naka-booster seat pa rin ‘yan. If you are not really fitted for the booster seat, let’s say ang height mo is already 5’3”, 5’4”, or 5’2”, then if the seat belt fits you properly then you may use the seat belt,” he explained.

The Department of Trade and Industry will specify which car seats meet international standards.

Violators will be fined P1,000 to P3,000 and receive a one-year driver’s license suspension for the third and succeeding offenses.

The law exempts children with medical or developmental conditions as well as cases of emergency. -Julia Mari Ornedo/NB, GMA News