*This article was updated based on DOTr's new infographic.
Despite having been suspended, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) released an infographic explaining new guidelines about the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA). It contains all the basic information you need to know once it takes effect again.
Based on the graphics, you are not allowed to make/receive calls, type/read text messages, make calculations, play games, watch videos, and surf the internet while you are driving. All transactions using your phone, such as setting destination's route from your GPS application and setting your music playlist, should be done before departing. Even more, you can't do it even when you are temporarily stopped by a red traffic light.
There is also a 4-inch safe zone, meaning, anything you place on your dash should not exceed 4 inches – or else, it is an obstruction to your (driver's) 'line of sight.' DOTr said that dashcams are not covered by the ADDA. However, they recommend that it is placed behind the rearview mirror.
On the other hand, the only exemption considered in the law is an emergency call to authorities. DOTr said that drivers can only contact the authorities in cases of crimes, accidents, terror threats, and cases requiring immediate medical attention. Anything beyond that could be counted as a violation.
Violation has a limit of 3 offenses with penalties starting from P5,000 for the 1st offense. You will then have to add P5,000 for the 2nd offense (P10,000), and another P5,000 for the 3rd (P15,000). Exceeding the 3-cap violation will subject you for driver's license revocation on top of a P20,000 fine.
Meanwhile, public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, school buses and services, or a truck carrier hauling volatile, flammable, or toxic materials who will commit distracted driving within a radius of 50 meters from a school premise is subjected to a 3-month suspension of driver's license, plus a P30,000 fine.
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