Motorcycle riders who continue to refuse wearing a helmet are in for a rude awakening as the Mandatory Helmet Act of 2010 or Republic Act 10054 has been signed into law.
Under the new law, motorcycle riders and their passengers are required to wear standard protective helmets "while driving motorcycles, whether on long or short drives, at any time of the day, in any type of road and highway." Only tricycle drivers are exempted from wearing the protective headgear.
Motorcycle riders apprehended for not wearing a protective helmet will be fined from a minimum of P1,500 to a maximum of P10,000, the Philippine Star reported.
The Mandatory Helmet Act also requires the Department of Trade and Industry to test helmets sold in the country, whether they are locally-manufactured or imported. Motorcycle helmet manufacturers and importers are required to secure either a Philippine Standard mark or an import commodity clearance before they can sell their products. Otherwise, they could face a fine of P10,000 to P20,000 for violating the provision.
While the new law was passed just last month, the Land Transportation Office (LTO) has been apprehending motorcycle riders who do not wear helmets since 2009 in accordance to the agency's memorandum on the revised rules and regulations on the use and operation of motorcycles. Based on the agency's memorandum, violators will also be fined P1,500 and required to attend a seminar on traffic safety management conducted by the LTO.
"We've been citing motorcycle riders who fail to wear helmets since 2009," said an official from the LTO's Law Enforcement division. "The signing of the law will help us enforce it even further."
The Mandatory Helmet Bill is authored by Sen. Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., who is also an avid motorcycle rider. In May 2009, Revilla was tapped by Suzuki Philippines to promote road safety to other motorcycle riders as an advocacy ambassador.
Revilla said the mandatory wearing of helmets will help reduce fatalities due to accidents involving motorcycle riders.
"Studies showed helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries and 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries to motorcyclists," Revilla added.