The Anti-Distracted Driving Law, commonly referred to as “No Texting While Driving Law of the Philippines“, lapsed into law and will take effect nationwide on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Violators of this new law will face penalties of up to P20,000 and revocation of their licenses.
The law covers all public utility vehicles, private cars, government vehicles, bikes, motorcycles, skateboards, kuliglig, haba-habal, motorized wheelchairs and even horse-drawn carriages like those used by tourists in Intramuros.
What constitutes distracted driving?
Distraction in driving not only pertains to violations done when a motor vehicle is in motion, but also those which are committed when on temporary stop during a red light or on heavy traffic.
It encompasses all kinds of vehicles, be it private, public, and diplomatic, with exemption of vehicles used in emergencies.
The following acts while driving or on a momentary stop at a red light or heavy traffic maybe considered illegal and violations:
- Using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication or to make or receive calls.
Using 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.
Using other electronic gadgets with display monitors such as dash cams, media players and other similar devices is also included.
Placing an electronic device against the line-of-sight of the driver, which includes hanging any gadget in front of the driver or anything that would cover view of the windshield is also prohibited.
What should you do to avoid getting charges from this law?
- Should a driver finds a need to use your mobile devices or other gadgets, stop on the shoulder of the road or away from the normal flow of traffic.
Use the hands-free function of your device such as connecting it to your car speaker and using bluetooth-abled earphones or microphones.
Remove all devices blocking or distracting the driver’s line of sight.
What are the exemptions of this law?
- Using mobile phones while making an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services, agency or entity.
Emergency vehicles such as an ambulance, fire truck, and other vehicles providing emergency assistance are also exempted from this law.
What are the penalties?
- 1st offense: Php5,000 fine
- 2nd offense: Php10,000 fine
- 3rd offense: Php15,000 fine + 3 months suspension of license
- 4th offense: Php20,000 fine + revocation of driver’s license