Ban on mobile phone use while driving starts today

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will now start apprehending drivers caught texting or calling while driving.

MMDA officer-in-charge Tomas Orbos made the announcement as the Anti-Distracted Driving Act will take effect today, May 18.

Under the new law, drivers are banned from using “mobile communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication or to make or receive calls.”

Violators of the law will face penalties of up to P20,000. Their licenses will also be revoked.

Orbos said even hands-free devices, as long they obstruct the line of sight of the driver, are not allowed.

The law covers all public utility vehicles, private cars, government vehicles, bikes, motorcycles, skateboards, kuliglig, haba-habal, motorized wheelchairs and even horse-drawn carriages like those used by tourists in Intramuros.

Exempted are drivers reporting accidents, fires or other emergency situations.