It is now illegal to use your mobile phone while driving or temporarily stopped at a red light. Mobile phone use include texting, calling, surfing the net, and all other such activities done on a phone or any electronic gadget that take the driver’s attention away from the road.
The law also clearly states how violators will be penalized for refusing to comply with the ADDA:
- First offense – P5,000 fine
- Second offense – P10,000 fine
- Third offense – P15,000 fine and a 3-month suspension on your driver’s license
- Fourth offense – P20,000 fine and revocation of your driver’s license.
The MMDA and PNP are empowered to enforce the law, nationwide.
Are there exceptions to the ADDA?
The ADDA aims to prevent road mishaps resulting from distracted driving. In reference, distracted driving is the use or performance of the following while the vehicle is in motion or stopped at a red light:
- Using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read text messages;
- Make or receive calls;
- Using an electronic device to read e-books, play games, watch movies, etc.
However, if the mobile device is being used through hands-free function such as a speaker phone, the driver is not deemed “distracted” and therefore, is not considered a violation of the law. This is also applicable for motorists who are dependent on mobile driving and navigation apps, provided that the device does not interfere with the driver’s line of sight.
Another exception is when the driver is using the phone for emergency purposes as in the case of driving an ambulance.
Does this law discriminate between private and public utility vehicles?
Absolutely not. It applies to all types of transportation, including government and diplomatic vehicles, motorcycles and tricycles.
The rules and guidelines of the ADDA are yet to be finalized and released to the public.