Sen. Estrada re-files bill vs texting while drivingINQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada on Thursday re-filed a proposed legislation seeking to ban texting while driving.
Estrada made the move a day after a public bus rammed the railings of EDSA-Ortigas flyover which left seven people injured.
Estrada re-filed Senate Bill 872, which was initially lodged during the 14th Congress, is a proposed measure that aims to regulate the use of mobile phones while driving and impose penalties on those found in violation in a bid to ensure public road safety.
The driver of the bus which was involved in the accident on EDSA-Ortigas was reported to have been texting while driving. Aside from hitting the guard rails of the flyover, the bus also hit a pole of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and nearly fell off the flyover.
“Absence of concentration on the road can be fatal not only to the driver and their passengers, but to other drivers, pedestrian and private properties as well,” Estrada, principal author of the bill, said.
Section 3 of the bill provides that communication with the use of mobile phones while driving all types of vehicles shall be allowed, provided that different hands-free accessories are connected therein.
Those caught violating the provisions shall be punishable by paying a fine of P3,000 for the first offense, P5,000 on second offense and a fine of not more than P10,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than one year for the third offense and succeeding offenses.
However, persons using mobile phones while driving for emergency purposes like calling law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services entity are exempted.
Likewise, Estrada also has a pending bill before the Committees on Public Order and Illegal Drugs and Public Services, which seeks to impose heavier penalties against persons found driving under the influence of alcohol and/or illegal drugs.
Senate Bill 484, or the proposed “Drunk Driving Prevention and Punishment Act,” those found guilty will be punished by imprisonment of not less than six months to six years or a fine ranging from P20,000 to P80,000, or both. Their driver’s license shall also be confiscated and suspended for six months on their first conviction and 12 months on second conviction.
A third conviction shall warrant the revocation of the person’s license and perpetual disqualification to hold such.
The current Land Transportation and Traffic Code or Republic Act 4136, only imposes a fine not less than P1,000 or imprisonment of not more than six months for those found guilty of drunk driving. Katherine Evangelista