Anti-Distracted Driving Act to take effect again starting July 6
MANILA, Philippines – Republic Act No. 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act is set to be implemented again beginning July 6, announced the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday, June 21.
DOTr Communications Director Goddess Libiran told media that the law can take effect on July 6 since the revised implementing rules and regulations (IRR) were already published in major broadsheet Philippine Star on Wednesday, or 15 days before implementation.
The revised IRR had been released to the media unsigned on June 14. It redefined drivers' "line of sight" and set a more relaxed "safety zone" where gadgets can be placed.
Gadgets will be allowed in the area below, at the same level, or on top of the dashboard, and even on the windshield, as long as the highest point of the device is not higher than 4 inches from the dashboard.
The revised IRR also reiterated that hands-free use of mobile phones is allowed for calls – through loudspeaker mode or earphones – and also allowed for emergency situations.
The Anti-Distracted Driving Act first took effect on May 18 but its implementation was suspended just 5 days later after it caused confusion among motorists and even lawmakers. (WATCH: Rappler Talk: What is the Anti-Distracted Driving Act?)
While the law was passed back in July 2016, authorities failed to conduct an information campaign, only beginning with the campaign recently when the law took effect.
The Anti-Distracted Driving Act is a response to the danger of driving while using cellphones and other gadgets.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported in 2015 that using cellphones while driving has been one of the top causes of road crash incidents. A total of 1,290 incidents recorded from 2012 to 2014 were caused by drivers using their mobile phones.
The Anti-Distracted Driving Act is limited to just mobile phones and other gadgets, and does not cover other possible distractions on the road.
The law will be implemented by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), backed by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). – Rappler.com