SOME senators on Monday called on the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to temporarily suspend the enforcement of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act until its officials address the confusion among motorists.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said transport officials seemed to lack a clear understanding of the law, which was intended to ban mobile phone use while driving.
Transport officials however have said the ban includes all objects placed on dashboards and windshields.
“Basically, it should be just about banning the use of cellphones while driving. Looks like their officials (DoTr) did not understand the essence of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act,” Ejercito said.
He said the DOTr should reconsider strict rules regarding the placement of cellphones within the line of sight of drivers, saying cellphones and other electronic gadgets, when used for navigational purposes, should be permitted to aid motorists from steering clear of heavy traffic.
“It is counter-intuitive when using Waze or other navigation apps since the use of cellphone is less dangerous if it is within the line of sight,” he explained.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd threatened to cut the budgets of transport agencies if they do not ease up on the implementation of the law, which took effect last week.
Sen. Nancy Binay, a member of the public services committee, said the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law appeared to have defeated its purpose, which was to prohibit the use of cellular phones while driving.
Officials of the DoTr, she claimed, came out with their own interpretations of the law.
Binay cited the decision to ban the hanging of rosaries and even air fresheners on the vehicle’s rear view mirror, which she said was “too much.”
“I don’t believe that rosary and air fresheners should be included in the list of prohibited items in the anti-distracted driving law, it’s too much,” Binay said.
The senator said she would file a resolution asking the Senate to review the law’s IRR to make it more acceptable and less confusing to motorists.