MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) yesterday released the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA).
With the issuance of the revised IRR, the law, which stirred controversy when it was first implemented, will take effect on July 6.
Last month, the DOTr decided to defer the law’s implementation in response to the call of lawmakers amid public confusion on purported violations in the law.
Under the revised IRR, the DOTr said the following would be considered distracted driving when the motor vehicle is in motion or temporarily stopped at a traffic light or intersection: using a mobile communications device to write, send or read a text-based communication or to make or receive calls; and using an electronic device to play games, watch movies, surf the internet, compose messages, read e-books, perform calculation and other similar acts.
Drivers using the hands-free function of mobile devices through speaker phones, earphones or microphones to make or receive calls will not be called out for distracted driving.
“The use of a mobile communications or hands-free device shall be considered as interference to the line of sight of the driver when the highest point of the device is more than four inches from the motor vehicle’s dashboard,” the IRR read.
Provisions of the IRR also apply to agricultural machineries, as well as construction equipment, when these are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways or streets.
Meanwhile, motorists using a mobile phone to report a crime, accident, natural calamity or terrorist activity to a law enforcement agency or to respond to an emergency call shall be exempted from the provisions of the IRR.
A nationwide public information campaign will be conducted by the DOTr, Land Transportation Office, Philippine Information Agency, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as private agencies within six months from effectivity of the IRR.
Motorists who violate any of the provisions of the IRR shall pay a fine of P5,000 for the first offense; P10,000 for the second; P15,000 and suspension of driver’s license for three months for the third, and P20,000 and revocation of driver’s license for the fourth offense.
“The owner and/or operator of the vehicle driven by the offender shall be directly and principally held liable together with the offender for the fine, unless he or she is able to convincingly prove that he or she has exercised extraordinary diligence in the selection and supervision of his or her drivers in general, and the offending driver in particular,” the IRR stated.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, PNP and other concerned government agencies shall be responsible for the enforcement of the anti-distracted driving law.