The Anti-Distracted Driving Act is now in effect.
Republic Act Number 10913 bans the use of mobile gadgets, especially cellular phones, by drivers while their vehicles are moving or at a stop at a red light.
Drivers are not allowed to write, send or read text messages and place or receive calls during the trip.
The motorists also cannot turn on electronic devices to play games, watch movies, surf internet, read e-books, calculate or do other similar acts.
Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Edgar Galvante emphasizes that drivers can still use navigational applications from the devices like Waze and Google maps.
But he stresses that the act is limited to listening to the audio feature of the mobile gadget that gives instructions on traffic routes.
Drivers are required to set their destinations on their electronic device before they leave.
Galvante said, if drivers need to look at the device for directions, “itabi nila yung sasakyan para hindi sila nakahambalang sa daan.”
Fine for the first offense is P 5,000.
Second offense carries a fine of P 10,000.
Third offense will cost the driver P 15,000 and a suspension of his driver’s license for three months.
Fourth offense entails a fine of P 20,000 and revocation of the license.
Exempted from the law are motorists who are involved in emergency situations and personnel responding to emergencies.
LTO operatives will apprehend violators nationwide beginning Thursday.