After swiftly passing through the Senate in late May, the Anti-Distracted Driving Bill has gone unopposed after the House of Representatives simply adopted the Senate version to avoid delaying the process with the formation of conference committee.
Bill 4531 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Bill is now in the process of getting prepared for the President’s signature and it seems more likely that it will become an Act even before the President-elect is sworn in.
Under the bill, ‘distracted driving’ is the of act of writing, reading, sending a text-based message, making phone calls, or watching movies, surfing the internet, reading an e-book or performing any sort of computation on a mobile device by a motorist.
The only exception to the rule is when a hands-free device is used such as Bluetooth connection but for as long as the device is mounted away from the driver’s line of sight and when the driver has pulled the vehicle to a curb and is fully stopped.
Vehicles at a stop light are not exempted along with agricultural machines for as long as they are travelling on public roads.
Violators will fined Php 5,000 for the first offense, Php 10,000 for the second offense, Php 15,000 for the third offense including suspension of the driver’s license for three months and Php 20,000 for the fourth offense including revocation of the driver’s license.
Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) drivers, drivers of school service vehicles or drivers of a common carrier of flammable or toxic materials caught in violation of the bill within a 50-meter radius of a school will be fined Php 30,000 and driver’s license suspension for three months.
The Department of Transportation and Communications along with the Land Transportation Office will be tasked to come up with the necessary implementing rules and regulations while the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be the main implementing government agencies.