‘Distracted driving’ law back; MMDA cams catch over 90
At least 92 motorists were caught on Thursday on closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras using their cell phones as traffic authorities reimplemented the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (Adda).
The law, which prohibits the use of mobile gadgets and other electronic devices while driving, was back in effect after the Department of Transportation (DOTr) revised the implementing rules and regulations following some confusion among motorists.
As of 12:45 p.m., CCTV cameras installed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) captured 43 drivers using their cell phones. The number went up to 92 by 5:40 p.m.
The DOTr earlier clarified that the law covers only the use of mobile communications and electronic entertainment, and computing devices after the public raised questions about stuffed toys and rosaries obscuring the driver’s line of sight.
Under the revised implementing rules and regulations of Adda, drivers are prohibited from using electronic devices and cell phones, except when the hands-free functions have been enabled. Even when stuck in traffic or waiting at an intersection, the ban also applies.
In addition, gadgets can be placed only on the vehicle’s dashboard as long as these are not longer than four inches. Dashboard cameras are not covered by Adda but these must be placed behind the rearview mirror for the driver’s safety.
Drivers caught through the MMDA’s no-contact apprehension scheme will receive a summons and they can appeal the ticket citation through the adjudication board.
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 in addition to a fine of P20,000. —WITH A REPORT FROM JOVIC YEE