MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office starts enforcing Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act today to promote road safety as its implementing rules and regulations was published.
Here are things you need to know about the law.
What are prohibited under this act?
Drivers are prohibited from using communication devices and other electronic, entertainment and computing gadgets while driving or even while waiting for the traffic light to go green or while on a temporary stop at an intersection.
Actions prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:
- using their mobile phone to write, send or receive a text message;
- making or take a call;
- playing games;
- surfing the internet; or
- reading e-books
Are there any exemptions?
Drivers may still use their devices to make or take emergency calls from authorities in case of a crime, accident, bomb or terrorist threat, fire or explosion, instances needing immediate medical attention or when personal safety and security is compromised.
How about hands-free devices like earphones and microphones?
Drivers can use the hands-free function and applications of their devices as long as these do not interfere with the driver’s line of sight, which means no communication or electronic gadget should be affixed on the car’s dashboard and steering wheel. Drivers are only allowed to wear earphones when making or receiving calls.
Traffic and navigational apps like Waze and Google Maps can still be used but drivers must set their preferred destinations prior to their departure. Gadgets with these applications may be installed in areas that will not obstruct the driver’s view. In case there’s a need to find alternate routes while in traffic, drivers are advised to first pull over to the side.
Who will apprehend violators?
The Department of Transportation-LTO will lead the implementation of this law. The LTO also has the authority to deputize members of the police, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and local government units to carry out enforcement functions.
What vehicles are covered by this act?
The act covers any public and private vehicle may it be wheeled agricultural machinery, wagons or carriages pulled by animals, construction equipment and other forms of transportation (bicycles, pedicabs, trolleys, habal-habal or kuligligs, among others) as long as they are driven on public roads, highways or streets.
Will operators of Public Utility Vehicles or PUVs be held liable?
Yes, operators and owners of PUVs and other commercial vehicles shall also be held liable for the violations committed by their drivers.
What are the penalties?
Violators will be penalized with a fine of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense and P15,000 for the third offense with a three-month suspension of the driver’s license. Violations incurred beyond the third offense will result in the revocation of the driver’s license and a fine of P20,000.