Sunday, August 14, 2016

There Otta be a Law

What’s your driving behavior? Have you been texting or talking to a friend on your cellphone while driving?  Those days are now numbered, not only for you  but for everybody else.  It’s time to stop such bad habit, else you could be flagged down by the police and cited for violating RA 10913, otherwise known as the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, which became effective August 16th this year.

All drivers think that they’re good and can handle very well these two things: driving and texting or talking on the phone at the same time.  Well, the first time you do it, you could be lucky, even the second, or third time.  But you won’t be lucky forever.  Sooner or later (I strongly believe, sooner) you can get into a road accident (and this road accident will probably not be only a simulation but real one).

If cited for violation of RA 10913, you’ll pay a fine of P5T (first offense), P10T (second offence), P15T and suspension of Driver’s License for 3 months (third offense), or P20T and revocation of Driver’s License (fourth offense).  How will they know you’ve made multiple offenses? I suppose this will be based on a database search under your name.  In other countries, police will simply call data center to find what’s in your record, and presto they get the information in a couple of minutes.  You probably won’t be able to argue with the police, but you can make your arguments in court.  All these are based on the assumption that things would get efficient soon in all of our government system.  Ah, that guy Du30, he’s got so many things to do – or worse, we’re all expecting him to do everything himself.  But that’s exactly why he has subordinates all over government to do the things he says need to be done.  And pronto!

Anyway, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), DepEd, DILG, PNP, and private agencies and organizations, the Department of Transportation shall undertake a massive nation-wide campaign to inform and educate the public about RA 10913 for six months from the effectivity of the Act, which is August 16, 2015.  Through this write-up, I’m making my personal contribution to the dissemination of information about RA 10913. 

Those caught violating RA 10913 between now and February 15, 2017, the period of the informaion and education campaign, may probably be just cited and reminded that there is already a law against distracted driving.  I’m certain that during this information and education campaign period many will be apprehended, but  I’m guessing that they’ll just be cited and reminded of the law.  However, by February 16, 2017 those caught violating the law will have to pay fines.

Personally, I find this law appropriate.  I’m always pissed off by drivers texting or talking to someone else on the phone while driving.  This puts the lives of people at risk and I find this repulsive and inexcusable to say the least, especially when there’s no emergency involved.  I hope this law will be uniformly and efficiently implemented.

Motor vehicle drivers, good or bad, must always consider pedestrian behavior as driving variable that constantly changes.  Always drive defensively.  And avoid driving too fast.  Such behavior doesn’t exactly fit our roads that are always in traffic gridlock.


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