MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The use of Mobile devices while behind the wheel is now illegal under the Republic Act 10913 (also known as the Anti-Distracted Driving Act).
However, motorists can still use their mobile phones when they do it hands-free.
According to LTO Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz,
They can use headphones. They can use their smart phones without holding it because the law states that drivers should not be distracted in driving even during the stoplight or temporary stop.
Vera Cruz also mentioned that the use of navigation app, such as Waze, will also be regulated. LTO Law Enforcement Director Francis Ray Almora said “If they are using Waze, the device should not be positioned in a way that would distract the driver,”.
Following the implementing rules and regulations of RA 10913 defines “distracted driving” as “performance by motorists or drivers in a running motor vehicle or even temporarily stopped at the red light.”.
Under Section 5 of the new law, using smartphones or other gadgets is not considered to be distracted driving “if done using the aid of a hands-free function or similar device… provided that the placement of the mobile communication device or hands-free device does not interfere with the line of sight of the driver”.
However, the motorists are exempted from the law to use their mobile phones while on the road to make an emergency call like health care, police hotlines, fire department and other agencies with emergency services.
Violators will be fined P5,000 for the first offense, and can lead to revocation of license plus P20,000 penalty, for the fourth offense.
The law also indicated that Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Philippine National Police and Local Government shall assist LTO in effectively implementing the said Republic Act.