UPDATED: Anti-Distracted Driving Act: What you need to know about RA 10913
Update on June 22, 2017: The Department of Transportation has updated their Implementing Rules and Regulations for the Anti-Distracted Driving Act. This article has been updated to reflect those changes.
A lot has happened since R.A. 10913, also known as the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, went live last May 18. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has updated its implementing rules and regulations for what people call ADDL (Anti-Distracted Driving Law), which will go live once more on July 6, 2017.
CAN’T DO THIS. Unless you’ve pulled up on the side of the road or you haven’t started driving, doing this is a big no-no.
People were still confused (though not as much as they were last May) when the DOTr release an updated version of their “Things You Need to Know” for the ADDL. We’ve taken the liberty of going through
They later posted an FAQ about the act, which we will try to explain here. Let’s start with the basics:
What is it?
NO-NOS UNDER ADDL. Don’t even think about doing these while you’re driving./IMAGE DOTr
- RA 10913, also known as the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, is a law that prohibits anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle from using their phone, radio, and other electronic gadgets while on the road, either moving or stopped at a traffic light or intersection. This means no phone calls, texting, playing games, watching movies, doing math, reading e-books, composing messages (for email or Messenger), and surfing or browsing the internet.
What vehicles are covered by the act?
- It covers ALL public and private vehicles, wheeled agricultural machines (tractors, loaders, etc.), construction equipment, and other vehicles such as bikes, pedicabs, trolleys, habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire), kuliglig (tricycle-for-hire), wagons, carriages, and carts that may be human- or animal-powered. Basically, if it’s on the road and you’re using it, it’s covered (apart from skateboards or feet).
NEW: My ride isn’t motorized in any way. What will happen if I’m caught?
- People who are caught violating the ADDL while riding a bicycle, wheeled agricultural machines (tractors and the like), construction equipment, and other forms of conveyances such as pedicabs, trolleys, habal-habal, kuligligs, wagons, carriages, and carts that may either be human-powered or pulled by an animal, will still be apprehended, issued a ticket, and escorted up to the nearest authorized payment center to settle his violation.
- If you do not have cash to pay for the fine, enforcers will have the authority to take the motorist’s vehicle for safekeeping within a period of six (6) months until the violator finally presents a receipt as proof of his payment of the fine.
- If you fail to settle your violation within six (6) months, the LTO shall have the authority to sell the impounded vehicle in favor of the government. Please take note that violators are NOT supposed to pay their fines to the enforcer, but only in authorized payment centers.
What doesn’t it cover?
- You’ve probably seen all the memes and poked fun at the ADDL when it was first launched. Well, it looks like the DOTr “listened”, so they gave us this list of things that are not covered by the act:
- dashboard toys
- Likewise, it does not cover activities such as putting make-up, drinking coffee, and other similar acts (no matter how distracting they may seem).
Are there exemptions?
- Fortunately, yes. You can use your phones while driving to make or take emergency calls to authorities in cases of a crime, accidents, bomb or terrorist threat, fire or explosion, instances needing immediate medical attention, or when personal safety and security is compromised. In short, if you’re not going to die from missing that call, text, or email, then don’t take it.
But I need my smartphone to keep in touch and navigate! Any workarounds?
- Yes, there are. If you take or make calls often, then go hands-free. That means earphones when you need to make or take a call (no listening to music!). If you’re an Uber or Grab driver, or someone who relies on things like Waze or Google Maps A LOT, just make sure you set your start and end points before you start driving.
ALLOWED PLACES. The DOTr has since updated their definition of “line of sight.” Here are the places where you can place your mobile phones or any other navigation device. Also, it helps to remember the four-inch rule: no gadgets (except dashcams) beyond four inches from your dashboard./IMAGE DOTr
- If you change your mind mid-way or need an alternate route but don’t know where, pull up to the side of the road, find an alternate route, put it in, and go.
- If, however, Google Maps or Waze suggests a different route, you can accept the route without having to pull up to the side of the road by quickly accepting the suggested route.
- When in doubt, just remember these words: four-inch rule.
What about my dashcam?
- Dashcams are no longer covered by this act, so you can rest easy knowing you can place your dashcam where it ought to be placed without fear of getting apprehended for it being “in your line of sight.” They still recommend you place it behind your rear-view mirror for safety, though.
- According to the DOTr, they have ways of dealing with heavily-tinted vehicles. Aside from high-definition cameras that can monitor lights from devices inside heavily-tinted vehicles, the law will also be strictly enforced by enforcers on the ground who are trained to determine from the movement of the vehicle whether or not a driver commits distracted driving. The Land Transportation Office will release a memo setting specifications on the regulation of tints soon.
What if I’m stopped by an enforcer for something I know I didn’t do? Can I take out my phone and take a video of the enforcer?
- Yes, but only after you’ve been pulled to the side of the road, which is a part of their standard operating procedure.
Where do I go to pay for my fines?
EXEMPTIONS AND FINES. Here’s a list of fines and exemptions for the revised rules of the ADDL./IMAGE DOTr
- Violators who were apprehended by LTO and/or PNP-HPG enforcers may settle their violations in the nearest LTO Office covering the area where they were apprehended.
- Violators apprehended by LGU enforcers may settle their violations in their respective City / Municipal Halls.
- Violators apprehended by MMDA enforcers may either settle their violations thru Metrobank or Bayad Centers within 7 days after they were issued a ticket. Violators may also pay their fines at the MMDA main office located at EDSA cor. Orense St., Guadalupe, Makati City.
If I have any questions about the act, who should I talk to?
- The DOTr – Land Transportation Office (LTO) is the leading implementing agency for this act. If you have any questions, kindly direct it to them or to the DOTr via their Facebook page, Department of Transportation – DOTr Philippines (they respond quickly to messages as long as it’s between 8am and 5pm).
Links below if you want to read the entire FAQ or the entire Implementing Rules and Regulations. If you read the FAQ, please take time to read the comments thread, as the DOTr page administrators take their time in replying to questions posted there as well.