Lawmakers want to require dash cams in PUVs, gov’t cars


Lawmakers want to require dash cams in PUVs, gov’t cars

If the bills become law, violators will face a maximum fine of P50,000 and/or be penalized with a suspension of franchise

Camille Elemia

Published 9:30 AM, May 20, 2017

Updated 9:30 AM, May 20, 2017

DASHBOARD CAMERA. Lawmakers want to require the use of dashboard cameras or ‘dash cams’ in all public utility vehicles, government cars, as well as emergency vehicles. File photo taken from niceguynic’s video

MANILA, Philippines – Members of Congress have sought the mandatory use of dashboard cameras or dashcams in all government and public utility vehicles to prevent accidents and deter crimes.

In the Senate, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito filed Senate Bill 1457, which requires student school buses, PUVs, application-based transport service like Grab and Uber, and government vehicles to put cameras on their dashboards.

In the House of Representatives, two similar measures have been filed – House Bill 2949 and HB5334 – by PBA partylist Representative Mark Sambar and Agri partylist Delphine Lee, respectively. HB 2949 focuses on government-owned vehicles, while the latter eyes emergency vehicles.

All 3 bills are still pending in their respective committees.

Ejercito said the measure would curb road accidents and prevent traffic violations. It would also protect both motorists and passengers from abusive traffic enforcers and drivers, respectively.

“It is also seen to improve and serve the interest of passengers who are subjected to the abuse and improper treatment of drivers. The latter shall be likewise protected from unscrupulous law enforcers who abuse their power and resort to extortion,” Ejercito said in his bill’s explanatory note.

Citing statistics from the Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System (MMARAS), the senator said there were 109,322 road accidents in the National Capital Region in 2016.

Under his measure, violators would be fined a maximum of P50,000 and/or penalized with a suspension of franchise.

As for HB 2949, the penalties are lighter – a maximum of 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of P1,000.

All proposed measures mandate that the cameras should be properly placed so as not to “impair” the driver’s view and the range of airbag deployment.

This is consistent with the recently enacted law, Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act.

The law allows the use of dash cams but these must be placed behind the rear view mirror.

With the rise of technology, many traffic violators are now caught, named, and shamed on social media – prompting automotive journalist James Deakin to earlier call on the Land Transportation Offie (LTO) to make the installation of dash cams mandatory. –