The Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, otherwise known as Republic Act 10054 (R.A. 10054), is a law being implemented by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in an effort to safeguard the Filipinos, particularly the motorcycle operators, drivers, and passengers at all times through the mandatory enforcement of the use of standard protective motorcycle helmet and sets forth penalties for those who may be found in violation of the law.
With this law as well, the government, along with the LTO and its deputized agencies like the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG), pursues a more proactive and preventive approach to make sure that the safety of motorists, their passengers, and the pedestrians are observed though many people still take this law for granted, hence the no helmet violations. The law also helps the government weed out unauthorized dealers, sellers, and manufacturer who fail to meet the provisions of the law by non-provision of or by selling non-standard protective helmets.
What is Republic Act 10054: Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009
By definition, the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 is a law that mandates the use of standard protective motorcycle helmets and provides for specific penalties for its violation. It covers anyone aboard two-wheelers motorcycle riders—both drivers and passengers. It was signed into law on 23 March 2010 and rolled out to the LTO and other deputized agencies by December 26, 2011.
The law also defines standard protective motorcycle helmets as appropriate types of helmets for motorcycle riders that comply with the specifications issued by the DTI. These specifications explicitly says that the motorcycle helmets should:
- Bear the Philippine Standard (PS) mark or Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) of the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS)
- Comply with the standards set by the BPS
- Be made available by every seller and/or dealer every time a new motorcycle unit is purchased
- Be made available in any legitimate shop or authorized dealers and resellers in case the purchaser wishes to buy one at any time
In cases when the riders or manufacturers, dealers, and motorcycle sellers fail to comply with the requirements provided for by the law, then the failure shall constitute a violation of this act.
This is specifically mentioned in Section 5 of the R.A. 10054: Provision of Motorcycle Helmets, which reads as,
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.
R.A. 10054: Target Audience
The Motorcycle Helmet Act was especially created for the protection of all motorcycle riders. Under the law, all motorcycle riders must wear standard protective motorcycle helmets while driving, regardless if it’s a long or a short drive, and of the type of road and highway. The Motorcycle Helmet Act also covers sellers, manufacturers, and dealers, mandating them to make standard protective helmets and ensure that they are available for the motorcycle owners, operators, and riders to buy at all times.
R.A. 10054: Exemptions
Like any law, even the R.A. 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act has exemptions. Drivers of tricycles are deemed exempted from being tagged for No Helmet Violations and are not expected to wear helmets as required by the Motorcycle Helmet Act.
Implementation of the Motorcycle Helmet Act
Some of the salient provisions of the law regarding its implementation include the following important notes:
- The Department of Transportation (DOTr), with its attached agency, the Land Transportation Office (LTO), is mandated to issue guidelines necessary to implement the provisions of this Act.
- The DTI, through the BPS, utilizes the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) protocols in setting up the standards that are applicable and observable in the approval and disapproval of all types of motorcycle helmets sold in the Philippines.
- The DTI, through the BPS, are mandated by law to regularly conduct 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 are mandated to periodically issue a list of motorcycle helmet manufacturers and importers and the brands which passed the standards of the BPS.
- This list of accredited motorcycle helmet manufacturers and importers are expected to be regularly published in a newspaper of general circulation or in its website.
- Only those standard protective motorcycle helmets bearing the PS or ICC mark are legally allowed to be sold in the market.
The provisions of the Motorcycle Helmet Act includes a list of penalties that are to be dished out by the LTO and its deputized agencies in cases of violations.
These penalties include:
No Helmet Violation for motorcycle riders and passengers
Any person caught not wearing the standard protective motorcycle helmet are in violation of the law and will be punished with the imposition of the following penalties:
- First offense: A fine of One thousand five hundred pesos (Php1,500.00)
- Second offense: A fine of Three thousand pesos (Php3,000.00)
- Third offense: A fine of Five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00)
- Fourth and succeeding offenses: A fine amounting to ten thousand pesos (Php10,000.00) plus the confiscation of the driver’s LTO driver’s license
Violation of R.A. 10054: Sellers, dealers, and manufacturers
All sellers, dealers, and manufacturers are also covered by the Motorcycle Helmet Act so there are also equivalent penalties when they are found to have violate this law:
- Any seller and/or dealer who are found to have violated the provisions requiring them to provide a new helmet that passes local safety standards for every purchase of a new motorcycle, as detailed on the Section 5 of the Motorcycle Helmet Act shall be imposed with the following penalties:
- A fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (Php10,000.00) but not more than Twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000.00).
- Anybody who uses, sells, and distributes substandard motorcycle helmets or those which do not bear the PS mark or the ICC certificate shall be punished without prejudice to other penalties imposed in Republic Act No. 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines” and as follows:
- First offense: A fine of not less than Three thousand pesos (Php3,000.00)
- Second offense: A fine amounting to five thousand pesos (Php5,000.00)
- Anybody who was found guilty of tampering, alteration, forgery and imitation of the PS mark and the ICC certificates in the helmets are also punishable by law without prejudice to other penalties imposed in Republic Act No. 7394 or the “Consumer Act of the Philippines” and with the following:
- A fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (Php10,000.00) but not more than Twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000.00).
Settling Violations Related to R.A. 10054
When settling violations related to the Motorcycle Helmet Act, one needs to do so within fifteen (15) days of apprehension by visiting the Land Transport Management System (LTMS) portal, logging in to check your violations and settling the payments from there. Or, you may opt to visit any of the LTO branch or satellite offices in the Philippines, closest to your location.
Video: Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009
If you are confused or unaware of it yet, you may learn more about R.A. 10054, otherwise known as the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, and what it actually entails, along with the provisions and impositions of the law by watching this special explainer video from the LTO-accredited driving school, DriveSafe PH:
For your reference, here are some important tips regarding the Motorcycle Helmet Act that are worth taking note of:
- The No Helmet Violation is a resulting violation for not following the mandates of the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009.
- The Motorcycle Helmet Act covers not only the drivers’ and passengers’ non-wearing of helmets, but also the dealers, sellers, and manufacturers who fail to issue standard protective helmets.
- The provisions of the law also penalizes manufacturers and dealers who issue substandard helmets of any type.
- The Motorcycle Helmet Act is a law mandated in 2010 in order to protect both the drivers and pillion riders.
- Settling violations related to the Motorcycle Helmet Act (R.A. 10054) can be done online by registering for an account on the LTMS portal or in person at any LTO branches in the Philippines.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
For more information, you may check the common questions and answers regarding the No Helmet Violation here:
1. Why is it illegal to not wear a helmet?
Helmets are one of the rider’s main protection in cases of accidents so it is mandated by law to wear it, thanks to the enactment of R.A. 10054 or the Motorcycle Helmet Act. Naturally, non-wearing of helmets while riding a motorcycle is a violation of this law, hence it is illegal to do so.
2. Is it mandatory to wear a helmet?
Yes. Riders and pillion passengers who travel on any form of roads or highways, whether it is a short trip or long, must wear a standard protective helmet or risk being tagged for a violation.
3. Are all helmets the same?
No. There are some types of helmets that are inappropriate for use while aboard a motorcycle. These helmets are the ones you can’t use while riding motorcycles in the Philippines and they come in different types, including bike helmets, skateboard helmets, and others. In addition, some helmets don’t have an ICC sticker, so they can’t be used legally even if they are of the right type.
4. What are the different types of motorcycle helmets?
The different types of motorcycle helmets include:
- Full-face helmet
- Open-face helmet
- Half helmets
- Modular helmets
- Dual-sport helmets
- Off-road helmets
5. Is the pillion rider or passenger also required to wear a helmet?
Yes. Both the rider and the back rider or the passenger are riding the same motorcycle and facing the same risks, so the two of them must be wearing the same appropriate helmet to help keep them safe on the road.
6. What is an ICC sticker for?
A helmet with an ICC sticker means that it meets the ICC standards and has passed the test to get an ICC Certification. The acronym stands for Import Commodity Clearance. The sticker is a Philippine Standard mark and is issued by the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS).
7. What are DOT, ECE, and Snell?
These are the different counterparts of the ICC Certification in other countries.
- The DOT stands for the Department of Transportation in the United States. Having this sticker means that it passed the bare minimum standard for motorcycle helmets issued in the USA.
- The ECE is also known as the Economic Commission for Europe. Helmets with the ECE stickers mean that they have passed the test to be legally issued in Europe. It is said that an ECE certification holds more power since the testing procedures are more stringent.
- The Snell is a certification that is named after William “Pete” Snell, a racing driver who died after sustaining severe head injuries when his helmet failed to provide enough protection during a crash. That said, helmets with this certification usually belong to a special niche as they are primarily used by racing drivers/riders. They are usually lightweight and overengineered, making them more expensive than the traditional helmet.
Like we said earlier, wearing a helmet is a mandatory safety measure that should not need any prodding and reminding. As someone who respects oneself, the riding community, and the value of life, then it should go without saying that the use of a proper and standard protective helmet that provides maximum safety is paramount. It is also best to check if you have the right type of helmet and if your helmet is compliant along with the provisions of law and whether you are complying with the Motorcycle Helmet Act.