Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Law Prohibiting ‘Distracted Driving’ to be Fully Enforced on Thursday

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Fifteen days after the publication of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), the law prohibiting forms of distracted driving for both public and private vehicles shall take full effect on Thursday, May 18.

The Anti-Distracted Driving (ADD) Law under Republic Act 10913 describes “distracted driving” as the performance by motorists of any acts on the usage of their mobile communication devices, electronic entertainment and computing gadgets or devices while vehicles are in motion or temporarily stopped on a traffic light or an intersection. A motorist, as defined under this law, is a person who is driving a motor vehicle.

Such prohibited acts made while driving include but not limited to: making or receiving calls, writing, sending or reading text-based communications, playing games, watching movies, performing calculations, reading e-books, composing messages, and surfing or browsing the internet.

Motorists, however, are allowed to apply hands-free function or applications in the use of such devices or gadgets so long as these do not interfere with their line of sight.

This new law is a preventive measure to avoid or lessen accidents and injuries from happening while promoting road safety and responsible driving among our motorists.

Aside from public and private vehicles, this law also covers wheeled agricultural machineries, construction equipment, and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, pedicabs, trolleys, “habal-habal”, “kuligligs”, wagons, carriages, and carts that may either be, human-powered or pulled by an animal, as long as the same are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways or streets.

This law takes exemption when motorists use their mobile phones in making or taking an emergency call from/to: a law enforcement agent/agency to report a crime or prohibited act, accident, natural calamity, bomb threat, terrorist activities and the like; a government or non-government medical or health care provider on emergency and rescue situations; or to a fire department in cases of fire or explosion.

Violators will be penalized with a fine of five thousand pesos (Php5,000) for the first offense, ten thousand pesos (Php10,000) for the second offense, and fifteen thousand pesos (Php15,000) for the third offense with a three-month suspension of driver’s license. Violations incurred beyond the third offense shall be penalized with the revocation of driver’s license and a fine of twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000).

Owners and operators of Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) and commercial vehicles found in violation of the said Act shall both be held liable.

The DOTr - Land Transportation Office (LTO) is the lead implementing agency of the Act. The LTO also has the authority to deputize members of the PNP, MMDA, and LGUs to carry out enforcement functions and duties.

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