MMDA: Every instance of distracted driving to be fined
MANILA — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has reminded motorists that they can be fined several times within the day if they are found to have repeatedly violated the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) that is set to be fully implemented on Thursday (July 6).
Lawyer Victor Nuñez, the MMDA’s liaison officer, said on Wednesday that a citation ticket for violating ADDA issued in Pasay City, for example, would not be a guarantee to a motorist that he would be exempted from being apprehended within the day if again caught for the same infraction in another city.
Under the revised implementing rules and regulations of ADDA, drivers are prohibited from using electronic devices and mobile phones, except when the hands-free functions have been enabled. Gadgets should also be placed only on the car’s dashboard as long as these don’t exceed the four-inch height limit.
Among the prohibited acts under this law meant to make driving safer are: Holding the device to make or receive calls; composing, sending and reading text messages; performing calculations; playing games; watching videos, and browsing the internet.
Nuñez said that the MMDA would mainly catch erring motorists through their no contact apprehension policy, which would utilize the agency’s multiple high-definition cameras set up along major thoroughfares in the metro. But he noted that motorists could be flagged down by their enforcers, especially if they have been obviously using their mobile devices and other electronic gadgets.
He added that these devices couldn’t be used even if the driver was in a traffic jam.
In the provinces, enforcers from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, the Land Transportation Office and the local traffic bureaus would be tasked to apprehend violators.
According to Nuñez, the erring motorist can expect within three days a notice from the agency of his violation of ADDA. A final notice will be sent if the motorist failed to settle within seven days his violation.
Violators face a P5,000 fine for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense and P15,000 with a three-month suspension of the driver’s license for the third. Beyond the third offense, the license will be revoked and the fine swells to P20,000.
Drivers of public utility vehicles, school buses and trucks carrying flammable or toxic materials face a stiffer penalty: P30,000 in fines and a three-month suspension of their license.
Nuñez said that if the driver was not upfront about being apprehended in another city, his records would still reflect in the LTO’s database during the renewal process for his license. In that case, the driver may find his license revoked if found to be a repeat offender. SFM
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.