MMDA: 51 motorists violated anti-distracted driving law Thursday

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YOU see them on the streets, motorcycle drivers using their cellular phones not only for calls but to read or answer text messages.

THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said 51 motorists violated the Anti-Distracted Driving Act on the first day of its implementation Thursday.

The agency stated that the drivers of 30 motorcycles, 12 private vehicles, five public utility buses, and four trucks were monitored to have violated the law based on its “no apprehension” policy.

Through its “no contact” traffic apprehension policy, the MMDA utilizes CCTV cameras at the Metrobase to capture videos and images to apprehend vehicles violating traffic rules and regulations.

“The MMDA will initially enforce the Anti-Distracted Driving Law through the no contact apprehension policy, which utilizes CCTV cameras at the Metrobase. This would allow the DOTr (Department of Transportation) to explain the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) further, as well as avoid traffic congestion that may arise from ground apprehensions,” the agency said in a statement.

Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Law prohibits drivers of both public and private vehicles to use their mobile phones and other electronic gadgets to make or receive calls, writing, sending or reading text-based communications, playing online games, watching movies, surfing or browsing the Internet, among others, while vehicles are in motion or temporarily stopped on a traffic light or an intersection.

Drivers are however allowed to apply hands-free function or applications in using such devices or gadgets, so long as these do not obstruct their line of sight. They may use their devices to make or take emergency calls to authorities in cases of a crime, accidents, bomb or terrorist threat, fire or explosion, instances needing immediate medical attention, or when their personal safety is compromised.

The law also covers wheeled agricultural machinery, construction, equipment, and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, pedicabs, trolleys, “habal-habals”, “kuligligs”, wagons, carriages, and carts that are either human-powered or pulled by an animal that are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways or streets.

Violators will be fined PHP5,000 for the first offense, PHP10,000 for the second offense, and PHP15,000 for the third offense with a three-month suspension of driver’s license.

Violations incurred beyond the third offense shall be result in the revocation of the driver’s license and a fine of PHP20,000.

Owners and operators of public utility vehicles (PUV) and commercial vehicles found to have violated the Act shall both be held liable.

The Land Transportation Office is the lead implementing agency and has the authority to deputize members of the police, MMDA, and local government units to enforce the law.

— Philippines News Agency

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