The Department of Transportation and Communications yesterday directed the Land Transportation Office to defer the enforcement of the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 and its implementing rules and regulations, a press release from the DOTC said.
The decision was in line with the request of the Department of Trade and Industry to be given until the end of 2012 to inspect all the helmets coming into the country to ensure that they all bear the Import Commodity Clearance seal issued by the Bureau of Products Standard.
DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas directed the LTO to instruct its enforcers to remind motorcycle drivers of the grace period starting August 1 until the end of the year, the press release said.
During the period covered, no punitive measures like the issuance of citation tickets shall be implemented, it added.
Starting January 1, 2013, motorcycle drivers caught driving without protective helmets bearing the ICC seal will be issued citation tickets and penalized under the Helmet law.
The IRR of the law, as stated in the joint administrative order of the DOTC and DTI, requires motorcycle drivers and riders to use protective helmets with Philippine Standards and ICC seals.
The DIT will penalize motorcycle dealers who do not comply with its directive not to produce or sell sub-standard helmets, and those not bearing the PS/ICC seal, including tampered and forged markings, the press release also said.
Dumaguete City Vice Mayor Alan Gel Cordova, who had earlier led petitioners who wanted a local court to declare the law unconstitutional, said the LTO only has temporary operators permits in lieu of citation tickets.
“How can they expect us to obey the law when the enforcers themselves are not ready to implement it”, Cordova asked.
The Traffic Management Office of Dumaguete has citation tickets, but Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria ordered its personnel not to get involved in the enforcement of Republic Act 10054 or the Helmet law, as it is the job of the LTO.
On July 19, 2012, Dumaguete RTC Branch 44 Presiding Judge Neciforo Enot dismissed the petition against RA 10054, and said “the case is for Congress, and not this Court, to consider”.*JG
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