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In August of last year, we featured the details of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and got various reactions from our readers.  Less than a year later, it will finally be enforced in all areas in the Philippines!

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, private and public utility drivers will no longer be allowed to use mobile devices behind the wheel, whether they are on the move or on full stop while waiting for traffic lights to change.

To refresh our memories, below are the salient points of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and the penalties that await those who will insist on their exceptional multi-tasking abilities.

What is “Distracted Driving”?

In the bill, it is defined as:

  • “using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read text-based communication or to make or receive calls, and other similar acts.”
  • “an electronic entertainment or computing device to play games, watch movies, surf the internet, compose messages, read e-books, perform calculations, and other similar acts.”

Exemptions:

  • You may use the mentioned mobile devices as long as it does not interfere with your line of sight.
  • You may make and receive calls as long as you do so using hands-free functions such as speakerphones and earphones.
  • You may use the device to make an emergency call.
  • Drivers of ambulances, fire trucks, and the like may use their mobile phones for as long as this is done in the scope of their duties and when responding to emergencies.

What are the fines and penalties if a driver violates the law?

  1. First offense – Php 5,000
  2. Second offense – Php 10,000
  3. Third offense – Php 15,000 and a 3-month suspension of your driver’s license
  4. Fourth offense –Php 20,000 and revocation of your driver’s license

MMDA and PNP are empowered to apprehend violators, whether private or public vehicles, including government and diplomatic vehicles, motorcycles, and tricycles.

References:

www.gov.ph

http://www.topgear.com.ph

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