Gadgets within 'safety zone,' hands-free calls now allowed while driving in PH Featured

Gadgets within 'safety zone,' hands-free calls now allowed while driving in PH Photo: Rappler
MANILA – The Department of Transportation released on Wednesday, June 14, the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA), which had been suspended after causing confusion and complaints from motorists.
The new IRR includes:
·         The concept of a “safety zone,” which re-defines line of sight
·         Exemption through “hands-free” use of phones
·         The plan of the DOTr to conduct an information campaign on the law, as demanded by Congress
DOTr Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Leah Quiambao said in a press conference the revised IRR will be published in the next few days, and will take effect 15 days after its publication, or by July 2017.
The law will be enforced by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Manila, and the Philippine National Police (PNP) nationwide.
Drivers may now mount gadgets as long as they do not obstruct their line of sight. They can do this by putting the gadgets within the "safety zone" – 4 inches up from the dashboard.
Within this safety zone, drivers may glance at their phones to use navigation applications or quickly read text messages when they are stopped by traffic lights. If drivers glance at their phones outside this zone, they will be apprehended.
The also clarifies that phones may be used hands-free as long as drivers keep their eyes on the road as long as their phones are within the safety zone.
They can put their phones on loudspeaker mode or use earphones to take calls and listen to music.
Quiambao said the DOTr plans to launch television and radio announcements to disseminate the new rules. It is coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government for a nationwide information campaign.
Asked about distractions coming from sources other than mobile phones, Quiambao acknowledged the ADDA is “limited” in scope, and was written to respond only to distractions caused by mobile phones.
This means rosaries and toys placed on dashboards of vehicles, as well as built-in televisions, are not covered by the law.
Jeepney drivers may also turn to their riders at the back of their vehicles when accepting payment and giving change.
She clarified that they cannot produce an IRR that is beyond the scope of law. Still, Quiambao said, the DOTr tried its best to produce the new IRR upon consultation with affected sectors, such as drivers of public utility vehicles, Grab and Uber drivers, and private vehicle owners. –
Last modified onSunday, 23 July 2017 14:34
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