wrong wolf's ride

a motorcycle blog flipside

That Dang Helmet Law

Now here’s another example of good intentions being used as paving material to Hell.  The Motorcycle Helmet Act or as I would like to call it, That Dang Helmet Law.

As per the PDF document I downloaded from the Philippine Senate website:

[REPUBLIC ACT No.1 0 0 5 4 ]

AN ACT MANDATING ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS TO WEAR STANDARD PROTECTIVE MOTORCYCLE HELMETS WHILE DRIVING AND PROVIDING PENALTIES THEREFOR

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared the policy of the State to secure and safeguard its citizenry, particularly the operators or drivers of motorcycles and their passengers, from the ruinous and extremely injurious effects of fatal or life threatening accidents and crashes. Towards this end, it shall pursue a more proactive and preventive approach to secure the safety of motorists, their passengers and pedestrians at all times through the mandatory enforcement of the use of standard protective motorcycle helmet.

SEC. 3. Mandatory Use of Motorcycle Helmets. – All motorcycle riders, including drivers and back riders, shall at all times wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving, whether long or short drives, in any type of road and highway. Standard protective motorcycle helmets are appropriate types of helmets for motorcycle riders that comply with the specifications issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The DTI shall issue guidelines, which should include the specifications regarding standard protective motorcycle helmets.

SEC. 4. Exemption. – Drivers of tricycles shall be exempted from complying with the mandatory wearing of motorcycle helmets as provided in this Act.

SEC. 5. Provision of Motorcycle Helmets. – A new motorcycle helmet which bears the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) of the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) and complies with the standards set by the BPS shall be made available by every seller and/or dealer every time a new motorcycle unit is purchased and which the purchaser may buy at his option. Failure to comply with the requirements provided under this section shall constitute a violation of this Act.

SEC. 6. Implementation. – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), with its attached agency, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), is mandated by this Act to issue guidelines necessary to implement the provisions of this Act. The DTI, through the BPS, is mandated to utilize the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Protocols with regard to the standards that will be applicable to the approval or disapproval of motorcycle helmets that will be sold in the Philippines.

The DTI, through the BPS, shall conduct a mandatory testing of all manufactured and imported motorcycle helmets in the Philippines. All manufacturers and importers of standard protective motorcycle helmets are required to secure a PS license or ICC prior to the sale and distribution of their products. The BPS shall issue periodically a list of motorcycle helmet manufacturers and importers and the brands which pass the standards of the BPS to be published in a newspaper of general circulation or in its website.

Upon the effectivity of this Act, only those standard protective motorcycle helmets bearing the PS or ICC mark shall be sold in the market.

SEC. 7. Penalties. – (a) Any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet in violation of this Act shall be punished with a fine of One thousand five hundred pesos (Php1,500.00) for the first offense; Three thousand pesos (Php3,000.00) for the second offense; Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00) for the third offense; and Ten thousand pesos (php 10,000.00) plus confiscation of the driver’s license for the fourth and succeeding offenses.

(b) Any seller andior dealer who violates Section 5 of this Act shall be punished with a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (Php10,000.00) but not more than Twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000.00).

(c) Any person who uses, sells and distributes substandard motorcycle helmets or those which do not bear the PS mark or the ICC certificate shall be punished with a fine of not less than Three thousand pesos (Php3,000.00) for the first offense; and Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00) for the second offense, without prejudice to other penalties imposed in Republic Act No. 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines”.

(d) Tampering, alteration, forgery and imitation of the PS mark and the ICC certificates in the helmets shall be punished with a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (Php10,000.00) but not more than Twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000.00), without prejudice to other penalties imposed in Republic Act No. 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines”.

SEC. 8. Nationwide Public Information Campaign. – The LTO, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the Department of Education (DepED) and private agencies and organizations, shall undertake a nationwide information, education and communication (lEC) campaign for a period of six (6) months for the attainment of the objectives of this Act.

SEC. 9. Separability Clause. – If any provision or part hereofis held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act or the provisions not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting.

SEC. 10. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof inconsistent with this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SEC. 11. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Having a Helmet Law was well and good.  It was all about the safety and welfare of the bike-riding public after all.  I take issue however on the following points:

  1. First, the DTI and BPS should not have been given the sole task of testing the helmets as such a task should have been a joint effort of the DTI, BPS, DOTC, and LTO as implementation will ultimately rest with the latter two.
  2. I had always thought that issues of safety in transportation fell under the jurisdiction of LTO.  If so, why was DTI given the sole responsibility and power to issue guidelines with regards to specifications and standards of the motorcycle helmets?
  3. It can be surmised from Section 7, Letter c, that wearing a helmet, whether it had passed international safety standards or not, without a PS or ICC sticker would be a violation of the law as such helmet may be deemed not standard or substandard and as such, unsafe for use.  This, of course, was absolute nonsense.  Safety got nothing to do whether a helmet got the sticker or not.  Suppose I buy a helmet with a PS or ICC sticker and then remove it later on; does that mean my supposedly safe or standard helmet was now substandard and unsafe?  Why bother the consumer in the first place?  That’s really messed up!  DTI should ensure that all helmets being sold in shops and stores were up to standards and consumers got nothing to do with that.  Shops and stores do.
  4. Plus, that damned sticker requirement just gives police and enforces more ammunition to stop and harass riders during checkpoints and what-not.  Sigh.  What morons we elect into office…we only have ourselves to blame, I suppose.

Requiring riders and pillion riders to wear helmet was really a good idea and that should have been the gist of this stupid law.  But no.  It seemed to be more interested in this ICC and PS stickers nonsense.  I say, leave the ICC and PS stickers out of it when dealing with riders.  Just require them to wear helmets of the approved brands and apprehend those who are either not wearing any helmet at all or who are wearing damaged helmets or helmets without straps.  Just concentrate on the shops and stores.  No shop or store should helmets that did not pass DTI and LTO’s standards.

It’s a good thing indeed that DOTC had ordered the LTO to delay enforcement of this stupid, stupid law until the end of the year.  Why, just do a simple Google search on the subject matter and you’ll the commotion and confusion this so-called masterpiece of Mr. Bong Revilla has wreaked.  I used to refer to him as Senator Revilla but now, I’ll just refer to him as Mr. Revilla.  Thank you very much.  Thank you for nothing.

* The pic shown on the top right corner of this post was taken  from the Turning Boholano blog site, simply because I liked it.

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This entry was posted on August 3, 2012 by in Bike News, Shooting the Breeze and tagged , , .

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