Solon refiles bill outlawing texting while driving

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[/caption] Senate Bill 872, which was earlier filed during the previous 14th Congress, is a proposed act regulating the use of mobile use while driving and providing penalties thereof. This developed as a public utility bus rammed the railing of Edsa-Ortigas flyover recently, leaving at least seven passengers injured, and many others inconvenienced by heavy traffic caused by the accident. It was reported that the bus driver was texting while driving. The bus also hit a post of the MRT-3 located beside the flyover. In the bill’s explanatory note, Estrada said that the bill aims to prevent vehicular accidents brought by driver’s error, particularly on cellular phone use where drivers often neglect the importance of giving full and undivided attention on the road. “Absence of concentration on the road can be fatal not only to the driver and their passengers, but to other drivers, pedestrian and private properties as well,” Jinggoy, principal author of the bill, said. Section 3 of the bill provides that communication with the use of mobile phones while driving all types of vehicles shall be allowed, provided that different hands-free accessories are connected therein. However, the section does not apply to a person using a wireless telephone for emergency purposes, including an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services entity. Violation of the act shall be punishable by a fine of P3,000 on first offense, a fine of P5,000 on second offense and a fine of not more than P10,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than one year for the third and succeeding offense. The bill was referred to the Committee on Public Services. ]]>

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