• The SB 3211 or Anti-Distracting Drive Act was approved by the Senate on third and final reading
• The bill seeks to penalize anyone caught using phones, laptops, game consoles and other similar gadgets while driving a motor vehicle
• The SB 3211 was principally authored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada
A bill that seeks to penalize “distracted driving” or the practice of engaging in other activities while driving a motor vehicle has been approved by the Senate on third and final reading on Monday, May 30.
Senator Sergio Osmeña III, acting Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, explained that Senate Bill number 3211 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act is aimed at safeguarding the public “from the ruinous and extremely injurious effects of vehicular accidents.”
“While the State recognizes the vital roles of information and communications technology in nation-building, the State also takes cognizance of the inimical consequences of the unrestrained use of electronic mobile devices on road safety as to cause its regulation,” Osmeña said in a statement.
Under the bill principally authored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, anyone who is driving a motor vehicle in motion or stopped in a red light, is banned from using cell phones, laptops, video game consoles, and similar other gadgets for entertainment, computing, or communications.
Once enacted into law, violators of the measure will be penalized with a fine of P5,000 for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense and P15,000 and a three-month suspension of driving license for the third offense.
Senator Estrada cited the information from the World Health Organization showing “drivers using a mobile phone are approximately four times more likely to be involved in a crash than when a driver does not use a phone.”
As noted in an article published by Business World Online, the bill exempts people “using mobile phones for emergencies, including calls to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services, agency or entity,” or to people “using mobile phones while operating vehicles providing emergency assistance,” such as ambulances or fire trucks.