Sixteenth Congress
Third Regular Session

Begun and held in Metro Manila, on Monday, the twenty-seventh day of July, two thousand fifteen.


An Act Defining and Penalizing Distracted Driving

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippine Congress Assembled:

Section 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Anti-Distracted Driving Act".

Section 2. Declaration of Policy. - It is hereby declared the policy of the State to safeguard its citizenry from the ruinous and extremely injurious effects of vehicular accidents.

While the State recognizes the vital roles of information and communications technology in nation-building, the State also takes cognizance of the inimical consequences of the unrestrained use of electronic mobile devices on road safety as to cause its regulation.

Section 3. Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act:

(a) Diplomatic motor vehicle – any motor vehicle leased or owned by a foreign mission and its staff for their official use;

(b) Electronic entertainment and computing device – any handheld electronic device capable of digital information processing, recording, capturing or displaying and computing operations such as, but not limited to, laptop, computers, tablets, video game consoles and calculators;

(c) Government motor vehicle – any motor vehicle owned by the national government or any of its agencies, instrumentalities or political subdivisions, including government-owned or -controlled corporations or their subsidiaries for official use;

(d) Implementing agency – the Department of Transportation and Communications-Land Transportation Office (DOTC-LTO);

(e) Mobile communications devices – electronic communications equipment such as, but not limited to, cellular phones, wireless telephones, two-way radio transceivers, pagers and other similar devices capable of transmitting, receiving, or both, of encrypted data and/or signals through wireless electronic or any other similar means;

(f) Motor vehicle – engine-driven vehicles such as, but not limited to, automobiles, trucks, vans, buses, jeeps, motorcycles and tricycles;

(g) Motorist – a person driving a motor vehicle;

(h) Private motor vehicle – any motor vehicle owned by individuals and juridical persons for private use; and

(i) Public motor vehicle – a motor vehicle with a valid franchise issued by the appropriate government agency to operate as a public utility vehicle or any vehicle for hire.

Section 4. Distracted Driving. - Subject to the qualifications in Sections 5 and 6 of this Act, distracted driving refers to the performance by a motorist of any of the following acts in a motor vehicle in motion or temporarily stopped at a red light, whether diplomatic, public or private, which are hereby declared unlawful:

(a) Using a mobile communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication or to make or receive calls, and other similar acts; and

(b) Using an electronic entertainment or computing device to play games, watch movies, surf the internet, compose messages, read e-books, perform calculations, and other similar acts.

Section 5. Extent of Coverage -

(a) The operation of a mobile communications device is not considered to be distracted driving if done using the aid of a hands-free function or similar device such as, but not limited to, a speaker phone, earphones and microphones or other similar devices which allow a person to make and receive calls without having to hold the mobile communications device: Provided, That the placement of the mobile communications device or the hands-free device does not interfere with the line of sight of the driver.1âwphi1

(b) Wheeled agricultural machineries such as tractors and construction equipment such as graders, rollers, backhoes, payloaders, cranes, bulldozers, mobile concrete mixers and the like, and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, pedicabs, "habal-habal", trolleys, "kuligligs", wagons, carriages, carts, sledges, chariots or the like, whether animal or human-powered, are covered by the provisions of this Act as long as the same are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways or streets or under circumstances where public safety is under consideration.

(c) The provisions of this Act shall not apply to motorists of motor vehicles which are not in motion, except those which are stopped momentarily at a red light, or are pulled over to the side of the road in compliance with a traffic regulation.

Section 6. Exemptions. - The provisions of this Act shall not apply to the following:

(a) A motorist using a mobile phone for emergency purposes, including, but not limited to, an emergency call to a law enforcement agency, health care provider, fire department, or other emergency services, agency or entity; and

(b) A motorist using a mobile phone while operating an emergency vehicle such as an ambulance, a fire truck, and other vehicles providing emergency assistance, in the course and scope of his or her duties.

Section 7. Nationwide Public Information Campaign. - The DOTC-LTO, in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Philippine National Police (PNP) and private agencies and organizations shall undertake a nationwide information, education and communication (IEC) campaign for a period of six (6) months from the effectivity of this Act.

Section 8. Penalties. - Any person who shall violate any provision of this Act shall be penalized with:

(a) A fine of five thousand pesos (₱5,000.00) for the first offense;

(b) A fine of ten thousand pesos (₱10,000.00) for the second offense;

(c) A fine of fifteen thousand pesos (₱15,000.00) and suspension of driver’s license for three (3) months for the third offense; and

(d) A fine of twenty thousand pesos (₱20,000.00) and revocation of driver’s license; Provided, That the implementing agency may increase the amount of fine herein imposed once every five (5) years in the amount not exceeding ten percent (10%) of the existing rates sought to be increased which shall take effect only upon publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation: Provided, further, That a driver of a public utility vehicle, a school bus, a school service vehicle, a common carrier hauling volatile, flammable or toxic material, or a driver who commits an act classified herein as distracted driving within a fifty (50)-meter radius from the school premises shall be subject to a penalty of thirty thousand pesos (₱30,000.00) and suspension of one’s driver’s license for three (3) months.

The foregoing penalties shall be imposed without prejudice to other liabilities under the Revised Penal Code or any special law, arising out or on occasion of the herein prohibited acts.

Section 9. Liability of Owner and/or Operator of the Vehicle Driven by the Offender. - The owner and/or operator of the vehicle driven by the offender shall be directly and principally held liable together with the offender for the fine unless he or she is able to convincingly prove that he or she has exercised extraordinary diligence in the selection and supervision of his or her drivers in general and the offending driver in particular.

This section shall principally apply to the owners and/or operators of public utility vehicles and commercial vehicles such as delivery vans, cargo trucks, container trucks, school and company buses, hotel transports, cars or vans for rent, taxi cabs, and the like.

Section 10. Enforcement and Assistance by Other Agencies. - The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the PNP and other concerned government agencies and instrumentalities shall be responsible for the enforcement of the foregoing provisions and shall render such assistance as may be required by the DOTC-LTO in order to effectively implement the provisions of this Act.

Section 11. Implementing Rules and Regulations. - The DOTC-LTO shall promulgate the necessary implementing rules and regulations within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act.

Section 12. Repealing Clause. - Any law, presidential decree or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative order, rule or regulation contrary to, or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act is hereby repealed, modified or amended accordingly.

Section 13. Separability Clause. - If, for any reason, any part or provision of this Act is declared invalid, such declaration shall not affect the other provisions of this Act.

Section 14. Effectivity. - This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.


Speaker of the House of Representatives

President of the Senate

This Act was passed by the Senate of the Philippines as Senate Bill No. 3211 on May 30, 2016 and adopted by the House of Representatives as an amendment to House Bill No. 4531 on June 6, 2016.

Secretary General
House of Representatives

Secretary of the Senate

Approved: July 21, 2016

President of the Philippines

The Lawphil Project - Arellano Law Foundation