The Senate has passed on its third and final reading, a bill that prohibits and penalizes the act of "distracted driving."
Senator Sergio Osmeña III said Senate Bill 3211 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act aims to protect the public from road accidents, BusinessWorld reported.
"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," the bill stated.
Distracted driving is defined in Section 4 of the bill as using any mobile device or electronic gadget in the following acts while driving:
- texting (reading, writing and sending text messages)
- making or receiving calls
- playing games
- watching movies
- surfing the net
- reading e-books
- other similar acts
It also states that drivers cannot engage in these acts even when their vehicle is in full stop due to a red light.
However, people experiencing emergencies including those calling police, medical or fire personnel and other relative services are exempted from the bill.
If it becomes a law, the bill will command a fine of P15,000 and can end up with the violator's license getting suspended.
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