Press Release
October 17, 2007

Villar calls for strict implementation of seat belt law

Senate President Manny Villar urged the Land Transportation Office and the Local Government Units to strictly implement the Seat Belt Law in order to encourage road safety and minimize injuries.

Villar, one of the principal authors of the law, likewise called on the public to follow the measure by buckling up while in a moving vehicle for their own safety.

The Nacionalista Party president made the call in the wake of an LTO report which said that cases involving violations of the Seat belt Law "far outnumber any other traffic transgressions." LTO chief Reynaldo Berroya recently said that 340 out of 1,070 motorists were apprehended last month for not wearing seat belts.

Republic Act 8750 or the Seat Belts Use Act of 1999 which imposes fines against drivers, operators, vehicle owners, manufacturers, assemblers, importers or distributors for violations of the measure was enacted under the Speakership of Villar in the House of Representatives.

Section 4 of the law mandates, "The driver and front seat passengers of a public or private motor vehicle are required to wear or use their seat belt devices while inside a vehicle of running engine on any road or thoroughfare."

"In the case of public motor vehicles, the driver shall be required to immediately inform and require the front seat passengers upon boarding a vehicle of running engine to wear the prescribed seat belts. Any passenger who refuses to wear seat belts shall not be allowed to continue his trip," the measure states. Fines for not wearing seat belts are as follows: (For the driver/conductor/owner/operator) (1) first offense, P250; (2) second offense, P500; (3) third offense, P1,000 and one-week suspension of license. The fine for not informing passengers to wear seat belts is P300 for every offense. The law also prohibits children aged six and below to sit in the front seat of any running motor vehicle.

"We must not compromise public safety by failing to adhere strictly to the Seat Belt Law. Every motorist must learn to wear seat belts while on the road for his own protection," Villar reminded.

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