92 violators get tickets for distracted driving

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The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported 92 apprehensions on the first day of the re-implementation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) on Thursday.

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The MMDA reported that as of 5:45 p.m., on Thursday, there were 92 apprehensions: one taxi, 51 motorcycles, 26 cars, three vans, two SUVs, three pick-ups, three buses, two trucks and one AUV.

The ADDA was first implemented on May 18 and 19 but it was suspended after lawmakers called for its deferment on May 23.

Victor Nuñez, MMDA liaison officer, said the ADDA is implemented through no contact apprehension policy with the use of high definition closed-circuit television (CCTV) to catch violators. But he added that motorists could be flagged down by enforcers if they are caught blatantly using their mobile devices and other gadgets.

The tally of 92 only includes apprehensions through the no-contact apprehension policy; on-site arrests have not yet been reported.

Nuñez said, comparing ADDA to the first time it was implemented, the number of apprehensions has dropped. As of 3:30 of Thursday the MMDA recorded 72 apprehensions, by that time on May 18, more than 100 arrests were already recorded.

“The number is not as overwhelming compared to the first two days of implementation of ADDA last May 18 and 19. The effective awareness campaign really helped.” MMDA told The Manila Times.

The ADDA or RA 10913 prohibits motorists from using communication devices and other electronic entertainment and computing gadgets while vehicles are in motion or temporarily stopped at a traffic light or an intersection.

In the revised act, drivers are prohibited from using devices and phones, except when the hands-free functions are enabled. Objects like dash cams and phones are allowed in the “safe zone” which is four inches from the dashboard but beyond the said distance, will be part of the “line of sight,”where gadgets and objects are prohibited.

According to MMDA spokesman Celine Pialago, most of the violations were texting and answering phone calls during red lights.

Other prohibited acts are holding the device, reading text messages, performing calculations, playing games, watching videos, and browsing the internet.

Nuñez said that a citation ticket for violating ADDA issued in a certain city would not guarantee the motorist an exemption from apprehension within the day if again caught for the same violation in another city.

According to Nuñez, violators can expect a notice within three days from the agency. A final notice will be sent if the motorist fails to settle within seven days of his violation.

Violators face a P5,000 fine for the first offense, P10,000 for the second offense and P15,000 with a three-month suspension of the driver’s license for the third offense. Beyond the third offense, the license will be revoked and the fine is P20,000. Drivers of public utility vehicles, school buses and trucks carrying flammable or toxic materials face a penalty of P30,000 and a three-month suspension of their license.

JOVILAND RITA

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