What you need to know about the Anti-Distracted Driving Act
MANILA, Philippines – Do you know that you can't check your phones anymore while driving?
The law defines "distracted driving" as using telecommunications or entertainment devices while in motion or temporarily stopped at a red traffic light.
A 2015 National Statistics Office report cites using cellular phones while driving as one of the top causes of road crash incidents, with a total of 1,290 reported incidents from 2012 to 2014. (READ: IN NUMBERS: Road crash incidents in the Philippines)
Under the new law, drivers of both public and private vehicles are not allowed to use phones to call, text, play games, or surf the internet while in motion or temporarily stopped at a red traffic light or at an intersection.
Watching movies, reading e-books, or performing calculations are also prohibited, along with other activities that will distract the driver while driving.
The law also covers a wide range of other vehicles – wheeled agricultural machinery, construction equipment, bicycles, pedicabs, trolleys,wagons, carriages, carts, the habal-habal or modified motorcycle that seats more than two people, and the kuliglig, a two-wheeled trailer hitched to a hand tractor.
What if I need to call during an emergency?
In case of emergency, motorists are allowed to use their devices to make or take calls to authorities in cases of crime, bomb or terrorist threat, fire or explosions, or when personal safety and security is compromised.
Those in need of immediate medical attention are also exempted.
Can I use hands-free devices like earphones?
According to RA 10913, drivers are only allowed to wear earphones when they are making or receiving calls. Using earpones to listen to music is not allowed.
The law also prohibits mounting devices on areas that obstruct the driver's line of sight. According to the Department of Transportation, no communication or electronic gadgets should be affixed on the car's dashboard or steering wheel.
In the case of motorcycle drivers, they are prohibited from using devices while operating their vehicles even for navigation purposes. (READ: LTO to motorcycle drivers: 'You can't use phones on the road')
Can I still use navigation apps like Waze or Google Maps?
Motorists are allowed to use navigation apps like Waze or Google maps as long as the devices are installed in places that will not obstruct the driver's view.
The DOTr is set to release guidelines on where the devices could be placed.
If the driver needs to look for an alternative route on the application, he needs to pull over to the side of the road.
What will happen if I get apprehended?
Violators will be penalized with a fine of P5,000 for the first offense and P10,000 for the second offense. Those who incur violations for the third time will be fined P15,000 and his driver's license will suspended for 3 months.
Those who violate beyond the 3rd offense will be fined P20,000 and his driver's license will be revoked. – Rappler.com
Learn more about Filipinos' safety on the road by visiting the Road Safety Awareness microsite.