Using mobile phones while driving now illegal in PH

  • The Anti-Distracted Driving Act has now lapsed into law
  • This prohibits drivers from accessing their mobile phones while on the road
  • Violators may face fines from P5,000 to P20,000 plus a suspension or revocation of license

 Drivers will now have to be extra careful and ignore their smartphones while they are on the road.

The Anti-Distracted Driving Act has been considered a law since July 21 after former President Benigno Aquino III did not sign it. Malacañang has to approve or veto a bill transmitted by Congress within 30 days, or else it will lapse into law.

The new law calls out on motorists to avoid distracted driving or what it defines as “using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication or to make or receive calls.”

Using mobile devices for “entertainment or computing device to play games, watch movies, surf the Internet, compose messages, read e-books, perform calculations, and other similar acts” while driving is also considered unlawful.

Meanwhile, those whose devices are mounted to their car – meaning they are accessing the device hands-free – are exempted from violation.

Also exempted are drivers operating vehicles for emergency purposes such as ambulances, patrol cars for law enforcement agencies and fire trucks.

Offenders of the law will face hefty fines once apprehended.

On first offense, violators will face a fine of P5,000 and P10,000 for the second offense. A suspension of driver’s license and P15,000 will be the penalty for third time offenders. Fourth time violators, meanwhile, will have to shell out P20,000 with the revocation of driver’s license.

The implementing rules and regulations of the measure has yet to be furnished by the Land Transportation Office (LTO). LTO is one of the implementing agencies of the law; working with the Department of Transportation and Communication, Metro Manila Development Authority and Philippine National Police.