PNP wants mandatory installation of dashboard cameras in vehicles

August 13, 2019

THE Philippine National Police headed by General Oscar D. Albayalde has sought the help of the 18th Congress in passing a law which will require the mandatory installation of dashboard cameras in all motor vehicles and providing penalties for violators of the act as soon as it is approved by President Duterte, the Journal Group learned.

The PNP says the use of a dashboard camera or forward-facing camera that is attached to a vehicle’s dashboard or windshield in order to monitor and record what is happening on the road that the driver is driving along, will be very instrumental in investigating road crashes and even crime and terror acts taking place inside a motor vehicle or is being committed with the use of a vehicle.

The Legislative Agenda or LEGENDA forwarded to the 18th Congress by the PNP Directorate for Plans headed by Major General Jonas B. Calleja seeks to include in the act all motor vehicles that move on more than 2 wheels as determined by the Land Transportation Office. It is one of the 22 legislative measures proposed by the PNP leadership to the new batch of senators and congressmen taking into consideration the relevant inputs of all PNP Directorial Staff and other operational and administrative units.

The PNP proposal sees the mandatory installation of a dashboard camera including a storage device which must be capable of recording information before being overridden by subsequent ones and shall be a standard equipment installed in all vehicles.

The proposal also requires all manufacturers of vehicles to comply with the provisions of the act six months after the promulgation of its Implementing Rules and Regulations and ensure that no vehicle shall be sold to the public without such standard equipment.

The PNP proposal says  the LTO, in consultation with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, the Metro Manila Development Authority, the Department of Transportation and Department of Information and Communications Technology shall provide the specifications and standards for the dashboard camera herein required, including the storage device which must be capable of recording at least 48 hours of information before being overridden by subsequent ones.

It shall also determine the required number of location cameras for every type of PUV to ensure optimum view and usage.

The PNP proposal also says that the LTO and the LTFRB Central and Regional Offices, and the Main Office of the MMDA shall establish, maintain and manage an archive for all dashboard camera recordings of vehicles which are subject of complaints filed before them.

In implementing the provisions of the Act, authorized personnel of the LTO, LTFRB, MMDA or PNP shall require the operator of any PUV or the owner of a private vehicle which is subject of a complaint to bring forth the vehicle within 24-hours from receipt of the order for its storage device to be removed or contents thereof copied by the authorized officer of LTO, LTFRB or MMDA.

In cases of traffic incidents and commission of crimes, local police units of the PNP or any law enforcement agency in charge of the investigation shall immediately be given copies of the dashboard camera recordings.

The proposed law however maintains that the confidentiality of the videos and other information captured by the dashboard cameras shall be secured at all times. Unless otherwise authorized under the Act, the use, viewing, disclosure or publication of the contents of the storage device, whether in whole or in part is prohibited.

The proposals also says clearly the ‘use of dashboard camera footages as evidence.’ It says that the LTO, LTFRB or MMDA or any road and traffic safety regulatory agency or court of competent jurisdiction, in cases or complaints filed before them, may use the information captured by dashboard cameras in vehicles for evidentiary purposes.

The law enforcement agencies may, in the conduct of investigation of cases filed before them, request for a copy of dashboard camera recordings pertaining to such particular cases subject to the applicable provisions of the Act.

As proposed by the PNP, the following penalties shall be imposed upon the offender who is found to have committed the following punishable acts:

# a fine of P100,000 shall be imposed upon any vehicle manufacturer for every private vehicle without a dashboard camera and recording storage device sold by said vehicle manufacturer;

# a fine of P5,000 for the first offense:  P10,000 for the second offense; and P15,000 for the third offense shall be imposed upon any person who operates or allows to operate a vehicle without a dashboard camera; tampers with the recording device of a dashboard camera which is the subject of a complaint or party to a vehicular accident or commission of crime; or; fails to bring a vehicle for purposes of removing the storage device of the dashboard camera or copying the contents thereof, upon the order of LTO, LTFRB or MMDA; or;

The offender’s driver’s license or franchise, as the case may be, shall be suspended for 30 days, for the fourth offense; three months for the fifth offense; and six months for the sixth offense. For the subsequent offense, the franchise or driver’s license of the offender shall be revoked or canceled.