Bukidnon board member eyes ordinance vs. texting while driving

MALAYBALAY CITY –  Motorists should be prohibited from “text messaging” while driving, so says the essence of the ordinance proposed by Bukidnon board member Nemesio Beltran Jr. last week.

“It is now widely known that increased reliance on mobile phones has led to the rise of road accidents,” Beltran cited in his explanatory note. He cited that so far only Makati and Quezon cities have enacted ordinances banning cellular phone use while driving. He said in Bukidnon the ordinance should be passed as “testing while driving jeopardizes the life and limb not only of the drivers but also of passengers, pedestrians, and by-standers who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Must we wait until the statistics would rise on texting while driving related accidents before we shall act decisively through the enactment of this ordinance into law,” he added.

He defined “text messaging” as reading, composing, and sending electronic messages using hand held cellular phone.

The proposed ordinance is at the committee level for the scheduling of a public hearing, Beltran told Bukidnon News Sunday.

Beltran cited that it is a policy of the province to promote the safety of its residents from the injurious effects of vehicular accidents by the use of handheld cellular phones by motorists while driving.

But he proposed to exempt those driving ambulances and law enforcement agencies, and those who use hands-free or speaker phone or similar devices.

Beltran proposed only P100 to P300 fines for first offenders; P500 to P999 for second time offenders; and P1,000 plus three-month suspension of driver’s license for third time offenders.

He proposed that collections from fines will be deposited to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office as a special trust fund, to be managed by the police implementing the ordinance exclusively to be used for the operation to monitor compliance.

He added that the phones of offenders will not be confiscated but their violations will be recorded as among traffic violations in the Land Transportation Office.

He cited 40 countries, too, that have banned the use of handheld cellular phones while driving. (Walter I. Balane)

 

Find this story also in: www.mindanews.com

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