Solon files House bill requiring dashcam in vehicles

Iligan City representative Frederick W. Siao has filed a bill making mandatory the installation of dashcams in various types of motor vehicles.

Iligan City representative Frederick W. Siao

“House Bill 4475 (Motor Vehicle Digital And Electronic Recording Systems For Road Safety And Security Act) has a practical provision giving a three-year period for compliance because we recognize that it is impossible for all the vehicles to comply in one year considering there are millions of them nationwide. This compliance period is for all the vehicle owners, manufacturers, and dealers nationwide,” Siao said.

The dashcam bill makes mandatory the  installation of   government-certified systems for recording digital and electronic data on  vehicle operation, navigation, traffic, and in-vehicle safety.

The basic set of devices required under the bill:

  1. One dashboard camera that has video resolution of at least 1080 pixels, has night vision mode, and is forward-facing for the street view orientation;
  2.  A second but rear-facing camera with the same features as the dashboard camera;
  3.  A visual display;
  4. A battery and motor vehicle power adaptor;
  5. A data storage device; and
  6. A built-in global positioning system (GPS) feature.

“This bill has a situational orientation, depending on the kind of vehicle,” he added.

For motor vehicles, with four wheels or more, that are authorized to ferry passengers  as a public service, aside from the mandatory basic set of devices, at least one other video camera must be installed to record whatever transpires inside the motor vehicle for purposes of deterrence against crime, for evidence purposes in the aftermath of the occurrence of a crime involving the driver, passenger/s, or intruders, and for situations involving lost items of any passenger. Installation of a third video camera to record the rear view of the passenger vehicle is mandatory.

For motor vehicles that are privately-owned and/or for private use, the installation of more than one video camera inside the vehicle is optional, except when the vehicle frequently has passengers or drivers who are minors in which case, a second video camera is mandatory to record whatever transpires inside the motor vehicle for passenger safety and security purposes.

For motorized vehicles with three or fewer wheels, there are two options: (1) a digital video camera recorder on the driver’s helmet which must be worn at all times while driving ; or (2) a digital  video camera recorder mounted on the top or front side of the vehicle.

For all passenger buses, commuter vans, and cargo vehicles, installation of global positioning system devices is mandatory to enable the vehicle owners/operators to track the movements of their vehicles and to respond swiftly in case of any safety or security  situation.

The bill prohibits posting on any social media platform, recording for personal purposes, or sharing through electronic transmission of video and data recordings depicting and involving passengers but without any incident pertaining to any road safety issue, traffic situationer, or occurrence of a possible crime recorded.

The bill also takes cognizance of and relates to the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10173), the Cybercrime Prevention  Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10175), the Revised Penal Code (Act No. 3815), as amended, the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 (Republic Act 10054), and the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (Republic Act 10913).

The bill tasks the National Privacy Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Department of Justice, and Department of Transportation to “jointly formulate and approve, after prior consultation with other stakeholder institutions in the public, private, and civil society sectors, strict  rules and regulations on the installation and inspection of video and data recording systems in motor vehicles, and the recording, safekeeping, storage, and public use of all video and data recordings of such systems.”

The pace and details of the phased implementation shall be jointly determined by the implementing agencies. “On January 1st of the fourth year of implementation, all motor vehicles manufactured, assembled, imported, and sold in the Philippines must have the mandatory systems and devices required in this Act,” the bill reads.

“This bill is considerate,” said Siao, citing a provision that says the implementing agencies “shall, through the implementing rules and regulations, determine the various alternatives available on how to best and affordably conduct the installation of the mandatory and optional devices… to ensure effective compliance by all concerned.”

The bill also empowers the implementing agencies shall, through the IRR, to promulgate the graduated scale of administrative, civil, and criminal penalties, consistent with various laws.

Siao is also the author of the  proposed “Philippine Responsible Driving and Accountability Act” (House Bill 1987) which seeks to make road rules fair for law-abiding drivers and pedestrians.

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