The Anti-Distracted Driving Act
The enactment of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (“ADDA”) is a response to the ever-changing demands brought about by technological devices. Enacted last 27 June 2015, Republic Act No. 10913, otherwise known as, “An Act Defining and Penalizing Distracted Driving,” is intended to safeguard the public from the inimical consequences of unrestrained use of electronic mobile devices on road safety.
The prohibited acts made while driving, include but are not limited to: making or receiving calls, writing, sending or reading text-based communications, playing games, watching movies, performing calculations, reading e-books, composing messages, and surfing or browsing the internet.
The ADDA does not totally outlaw the use of mobile devices while on the road. Use of such devices is allowable insofar as the driver / user of the vehicle utilizes the hands-free options of the mobile device, such as earphones or microphones, or other similar functions. Likewise, the placement of the mobile communication device must not interfere with the line-of-sight of the driver.
Violation of this law is punishable by a fine of P5,000.00 for the first offense; P10,000.00 for the second offense; P15,000.00 and suspension of the driver’s license for three months for the third offense; and P20,000 and the revocation of the offender’s driver’s license for the subsequent offense.
This act also holds the operators of the vehicles driven by the offenders equally liable with the latter, unless they are able to prove that they have exercised extraordinary diligence in the selection and supervision of their employed drivers.
However, as of 24 May 2017, the implementaion of the ADDA was suspended. Both Houses of Congress sought its suspension due to the confusing provisions found therein, such as the definition of “line-of-sight” and placement of items on the vehicle’s dashboard. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the ADDA will be reviewed and revised to clarify the issues, and an information drive will be conducted thereafter.