ANTI-DISTRACTED DRIVING ACT (RA 10913)
(16 Things You Need to Know)
1. What is RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act?
RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) is a law that prohibits a person who is driving a motor vehicle from holding and using mobile communication devices and electronic entertainment gadgets. The prohibition applies while the motor vehicle is in motion or temporarily stopped on a traffic light or an intersection.
2. What vehicles are covered by this Act?
This law covers both public and private vehicles. It also covers wheeled agricultural machineries, construction equipment, and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, pedicabs, trolleys, “habal-habal”, “kuligligs”, wagons, carriages, and carts that may either be human-powered or pulled by an animal as long as the same are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways or streets.
3. What does this law prohibit?
Prohibited acts while driving include but not limited to:
- Making or receiving calls
- Writing, sending or reading text-based communications
- Playing games
- Watching movies
- Performing calculations
- Reading e-books
- Composing messages
- Surfing or browsing the internet
4. Can a driver use his cellphone when he is stuck in traffic?
No. Even if a driver is stuck in traffic, as long as he is behind the wheel, he is still not allowed to hold and use his cellphone and/or gadget to make or receive calls; write, send or read text-based communications; play games; watch movies; perform calculations; read e-books; compose messages; surf or browse the internet; or other similar acts..
5. What are the actions exempted from this law?
Motorists are allowed 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.
6. Can we use the hands-free function of our mobile communications device to make or receive calls?
Yes. Using the aid of a hands-free function such as speaker phones, earphones, microphones or other similar device, which will allow a person to make and receive calls without holding his mobile communications device, is allowed.
7. Where can we mount our cellphones or GPS device?
GPS or cellphones may be placed or mounted below, at the same level, or on top of the dashboard, and even on the windshield, as long as the highest point of the device is not higher than four (4) inches from the dashboard.
8. How about the use of dashcams? Is this covered by ADDA?
The use of dashcams is NOT covered by ADDA. To date, there is no legislation regulating the use of dashcams. However, for safety purposes, drivers are encouraged to mount their dashcams at the back of the rearview mirror.
9. Are we allowed to mount our cellphones on our motorcycles?
Yes, mounting of cellphones in handle bars or other parts of motorcycles is allowed, since this does not interfere with the driver’s line of vision.
10. Does ADDA prohibit the mounting of other accessories in a vehicle’s dashboard? How about engaging in other “distracting activities”? Are these covered by the ADDA?
No. ADDA only covers the use of mobile communications devices and other electronic entertainment gadgets while vehicles are in motion or temporarily stopped on a traffic light or an intersection. It does NOT cover other accessories which may be found on your dashboard such as rosaries, tachometers, figurines, dashboard toys, crucifix, stickers, among others. Likewise, it does not cover activities such as putting make-up, drinking coffee, and other similar acts.
11. Who are authorized to apprehend violating motorists?
The DOTr - Land Transportation Office (LTO), PNP-HPG, MMDA, and LGUs are authorized to apprehend violators of the ADDA.
12. How will we know if drivers of private vehicles with heavily-tinted windshields are violating the law?
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. A Memorandum Circular setting specifications on the regulation of tints shall also be released by LTO soon.
13. What are the penalties?
Violators will be penalized with a fine of five thousand pesos (Php5,000) for the first offense, ten thousand pesos (Php10,000) for the second offense, and fifteen thousand pesos (Php15,000) for the third offense with a three-month suspension of driver’s license.
Violations incurred beyond the third offense shall be penalized with the revocation of driver’s license and a fine of twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000).
A driver of a public utility vehicle, a school bus, a school service vehicle, a common carrier hauling volatile, flammable or toxic material who commits distracted driving within a fifty (50)-meter radius from the school premises shall be subject to a penalty of thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) and suspension of one’s driver’s license for three (3) months.
14. Are operators of Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) also liable for violations made by drivers?
Yes. Operators and owners of Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) shall be held liable for the violations committed by their drivers.
15. Where do I settle my violation?
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 Center within 7 days after they were issued a ticket. Violators may also pay their fines at the MMDA main office in Guadalupe, Makati City.
16. How about cyclists or those driving vehicles/machines that do not require licenses? How will they be apprehended?
People who were caught violating the ADDA while riding a bicycle or wheeled agricultural machineries, construction equipment, and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, 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.
However, if the driver does 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. Should the violator fail to settle his 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.