A NEW law that reflects the concern over the welfare of the commuting public, notably motorists, passengers and pedestrians, will be strictly implemented starting Thursday (May 18).
To be implemented by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), Republic Act (RA) No. 10913, otherwise known as the “Anti-Distracted Driving Act,” bans the use of cellular phones while driving.
But under the law, motorists can use their mobile phones provided this is done hands-free, meaning they have to use headphones, said LTO Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz.
He said the legislation states that drivers should not be distracted even during temporary stop.
The LTO will regulate the motorists’ use of these wonders of modern technology while driving even if they use them for navigation purposes or searching for alternate routes.
RA No. 10913 defines “distracted driving” as “performance by motorists or drivers in a running motor vehicle or even temporarily stopped at the red light,” according to the LTO.
Under Section 5 of the legislation, using smart phones or other gadgets is not considered to be distracted driving “if done using the aid of a hands-free function or similar device.”
And it is also necessary that the mobile communication device or hands-free device does not interfere with the line of sight of the driver.
But the law exempts drivers using a mobile phone to make an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department and other similar agencies and emergency services.
Otherwise, motorists should park their vehicles if they have to use their cellular phones and other gadgets.
Concerned government authorities have to strictly implement the provisions of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act.
Various quarters said to do otherwise is to torpedo government efforts to reduce the number of vehicular accidents that claim the lives of many people throughout the year.