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Editorial: Distracted driving law revisited

RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act is a law that ‘prohibits motorists from using communication devices and other electronic entertainment and computing gadgets while vehicles are in motion or temporarily stopped on a traffic light or an intersection.’

How many times have we feared for our lives when drivers of PUJs answer calls while navigating traffic? Or helplessly stood by as a young man in motorcycle read and send text messages with one hand while weaving through traffic?

We all know that driving is a privilege. We are responsible for reaching our own destination safely, as much as it is our responsibility to avoid causing harm to other motorists on the road. Ideally, nothing should break our concentration as we cruise through busy roads or streets teeming with pedestrians and vehicles. But we do get sidetracked. We sometimes do trivial things such as repairing smudged make-up, searching for items inside the front compartment, retrieving purses or gadgets – while the vehicle we are driving continues to move. We think nothing of the possibility of bumping into another vehicle or a human being.

We can still use navigational apps like Waze and Google Maps but motorists are advised to set their destination on these apps before departure for obvious reasons. Mobile phones or other gadgets with these apps may be installed in areas that will not obstruct the driver’s view. Should they need to change their routes while in traffic, they are advised to pull their vehicles aside.

It has been three years since the law has been implemented. Have we seen the difference in the habit of drivers? This is something to ponder on especially by drivers who are responsible for the safety of their passengers. Safety while driving is the concern of all.

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