The Anti-Distracted Driving Law will take in full effect tomorrow, May 18. We already know that this new law is otherwise known as “No texting while driving in the Philippines” so everyone is already aware that using your mobile devices in making calls, texting, surfing, etc, while in motion and yes, even when you are on a temporary stop at a red light and trapped in a heavy traffic, is prohibited. Should you find the need to operate the device, you can pull over on the shoulder of the road.
Some provisions of the law, however, are creating confusion to motorists, eversince its anticipated implementation has been announced.
Among those that need clarifications are the following:
- Where exactly is the line-of-sight located in your motor vehicles?
- Are dashcams included in the prohibited devices?
- Is using navigation app through your mobile illegal?
So much has been posted about these frequently ask questions and we collated some really good clarifications regarding these from several motoring magazines and websites.
Here are few clarifications:
Section 5 of the Anti-Distracted Driving Law states that “the operation of a mobile communications device is not considered to be distracted driving if done using the aid of a hands-free function or similar device such as, but not limited to, a speaker phone, earphones and microphones or other similar divices which allow a person to make and receive calls without having to hold the mobile communications device: Provided, that the placement of the mobile communications device or the hands-free device does not interfere with the line of sight of the driver.”
So where exactly is the “line of sight” of the driver? Top Gear Philippines defines “line of sight” as your entire windshield and on top of your dashboard, except for the area behind the rear-view mirror, as pointed out by officials from the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Are dashcams included? The law also prohibits using other electronic gadgets with display monitors such as dash cams, media players and other similar devices is also included. However, referring to the provision aforementioned, these maybe used so long as they don’t interfere with the line of sight of the driver. So these maybe placed behind the rear-view mirror.
How about using navigation apps on mobile devices such as Waze? According to the information from the Ladan law firm, P.A., it is allowed provided that the gadgets with [navigation] applications are installed in areas that will not obstruct the driver’s view. These can be placed either behind (but not on) your steering wheel on the instrument panel, or on the center of your dashboard where the center air-con vents normally sit.
Motorists are also advised to set their preferred destination on these applications prior to their departure. Should there will be a need to change point of destination, pull over the shoulder of the road. Point is, DO NOT get caught operating these devices (with navigation apps) while driving.
So drive safely, kabayan!