Picture for illustration purposes only.


Drivers should pull over while checking maps or phones in order to avoid getting fined


MANILA – Texting and checking out navigation apps while driving are now prohibited in the Philippines.

This is after Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act took effect today, May 18 – the effectivity date after the required publication of the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) in newspapers of general circulation.

The new law states that those who text or check navigation apps on mobile phones like Waze or Google Maps should stop driving and pull over along the side of the road.

Violators face a fine or revocation of their license. They can be hailed down by traffic enforcers via the no-contact apprehension policy or screengrabs of traffic cams.

Traffc enforcers of local government units are authorized to carry out arrests in inner streets.

Checking one’s mobile phone while stopped by a red light or at a busy intersection is likewise prohibited by the new law. The use of two-way radios, video game consoles, laptops and even calculators is prohibited.

Motorists can take calls using the hands-free function of their mobile phones or by using earphones but listening to music on earphones is not allowed by the new law.

Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Edgar Galvante said audio navigation gadgets are allowed by the law but if a driver needs to take a look at a gadget and thus take his eyes off the road, the motorist will have to pull over.

Galvante also said televisions on buses would have to be removed if these distract the driver. Buses usually have televisions that run a movie or are tuned in to a show to entertain passengers during the ride.

As for dash cams, Galvante said they can be placed in a spot that does not obstruct the line of sight of the driver but if the driver keeps on looking at the dash cam, he or she will be apprehended.

Galvante advised drivers of ride-hailing apps like Uber and Grab who use Waze or Google Maps to review their route so they’d know where to pass before driving.

The law exempts drivers who are in an emergency situation and if they are penalized, they can contest the citation through an adjudication board. GAC/Expat Media


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