Bikers get helmet breakBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The implementation of stricter rules on the kind of helmets motorcycle owners are allowed to use has been deferred to give the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) more time to accredit different brands in the market today.
In a statement, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said it directed the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to defer enforcement of the motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 and its implementing rules and regulations.
The decision to defer was in line with the DTI’s request to give them more time to inspect all the helmets that are coming in the country. DTI wants to ensure that all the helmets bear the Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) seal issued by the Bureau of Products Standard.
DTI requested to give them until the end of the year to complete inspection before the Helmet Law and its IRR is enforced nationwide.
“We want to ensure the orderly implementation of the Helmet Law with the safety of the riding public as our foremost objective,” Transport Secretary Mar Roxas said.
The decision to defer the law’s implementation came after complaints by motorcycle owners, who said they were not given enough time to have their helmets inspected to be able to get ICC marks. The helmet law went into effect at the start of this month.
Starting Aug. 1 until the end of the year, the DOTC likewise directed the LTO to instruct its enforcers to issue reminders to motorcycle drivers of the issue.
In cooperation with other pertinent government and private agencies and organizations, the LTO will conduct aggressive public information and education campaigns on the matter. During the period covered, no punitive measures such as the issuance of citation tickets would be done.
The DOTC said the helmet law would be implemented strictly starting Jan. 1 of next year. Motorcycle drivers caught driving without the protective helmet bearing the ICC seal will be issued citation tickets and penalized as stated in Helmet Act of 2009.
The IRR of the Helmet Law was stipulated in the joint administrative order crafted by the DOTC and DTI, requiring motorcycle drivers and riders to use protective motorcycle helmets with PS and ICC seals.
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