Photos of 11-year-old kid on booster seat go viral

MANILA, Philippines –
As the Land Transportation Office (LTO) implements the car seat law, photos of an 11-year-old kid went viral because he looks definitely too tall to be using a booster seat.

“PWEDE NA PO BA ITO? 🚙 😀” Justine Jan Bautista joked, sharing photos of her son while sitting on a child car seat inside their SUV.

“Nakabili na po ako ng malaki-laking auto, SUV na po ito. Ok naman po iyong seatbelt. Hindi po nasasakal ‘yung anak ko, kaya lang po baka magka-stiff neck po siya sa biyahe, sumakit ang likod, at baka mauntog kapag nag-sudden [brake].”

Photos of 11-year-old kid on booster seat go viral
Photo credit: Justine Jan Bautista / Facebook

Bautista clarifies later that this is really just a joke post. But it was clearly done in response to the statement of LTO Director Clarence Guinto that families with taller children should just buy bigger cars.

“Siguro ma’am laki-lakihan mo ang sasakyan mo. We will take note of that,” Guinto said in an interview after he was asked regarding issues of limited space for car seats inside cars as well as the safety of taller kids when using booster seats.

“Kahit naman na kung more than 12 years old at mababa pa rin siya, meron na siyang capacity to react to a situation. Pero ‘yung 12 and below talagang dapat mayroon tayong child restraining seat,” he added.

What is the Car Seat Law in the Philippines?

Republic Act 11229 or the Child Safety in Motor Vehicles Act, often just referred to as the car seat law, was actually signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte nearly 2 years ago. However, its official implementation was only done just this February 2, 2021.

Under this law, children who are 12 years old and below should always use either a car seat or a booster seat, whichever is applicable, while inside the vehicle. However, those who are over 4’11” are exempted from this law.

Moreover, children are not allowed to sit at the front of a motor vehicle. Also, substandard car seats or expired car seats are not allowed.

Anyone caught disobeying this law may be fined Php1,000 to Php5,000. The driver might also have his/her driver’s license suspended for 1 year for the third and succeeding offenses.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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