May 16, 2017

Our daily feed has become flooded with a slew of horror stories of drivers too confident with their own skill to operate a vehicle. These anecdotes of the culprit quickly replying to a message or changing a song, then finding themselves in an accident, hit too close to home. It has become commonplace to see drivers, especially in insanity-inducing citywide traffic jams, taking out their phones. Or worse: replying on Facebook messenger at full speed on a highway. (True story).

It becomes a sad reflection of the modern sensibility when a blatant safety standard needs to be enacted as a law for a whole nation to start practicing common sense. The “Anti-Distracted Driving Act” that was passed as a law August last year is finally being enforced starting this May 18.

bus-accident-ortigasBus accident caused by a texting driver. Photo from MMDA

Those still hard-headed enough to disregard the law may be intimidated by the steep fines imposed.

1st offense: P5,000 fine
2nd offense: P10,000 fine
3rd offense: P15,000 fine + 3 months suspension of license
4th offense: P20,000 fine + revocation of driver’s license

Take note loophole lovers: this includes using your phone in the middle of traffic or at a stoplight. The exemptions are pretty slim as well. These include emergency calls to “law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services,” and “operating an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, fire truck, and other vehicles providing emergency assistance”.

omar-prestwich-247130So, if you really need to answer that call or change that song, pull over (properly) or ask any of your hitching passengers to do it for you. Best to be safe on the road and keep the money in your pockets.

TAGS: anti-distracted driving act driving News nolisoliph road safety