Bukidnon bans ‘texting while driving’

MALAYBALAY CITY – (Bukidnon News Dispatch/25 September) The
Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) of Bukidnon has approved an ordinance
prohibiting ‘text messaging’ while driving.

The SP recently passed ordinance no. 2011-036R known as “Text at your
own risk while driving ordinance of 2011.”

Provincial board members unanimously approved the motion of first
district board member Jay Albarece. Nemesio Beltran Jr., second
district board member introduced the ordinance.

The ordinance prohibited any motorist driving a vehicle in any street,
road or thoroughfare within the territorial boundaries of the province
of Bukidnon from text messaging and making or receiving calls while
driving.The ordinance does not apply to drivers of ambulances and vehicles of
law enforcement agencies and to other drivers who are under extreme
emergencies to respond to situations involving life, liberty and
property.

The Philippine National Police through the provincial director’s
office in coordination with the Land Transportation Office and the
deputized local government unit agents shall implement the provisions
of the said ordinance.

First offenders will be fined at P100.00 but not more than P300.
Second offenders will be fined P500 but not to more than P1,000.

For third time and succeeding offences, violators will have to pay
P1,000 in addition to the suspension of the driver’s license for not
more than three months.

Collections from penalties will be placed in a special trust fund to
be remitted to the Provincial Treasurer’s Office. The fines shall be
exclusively used for the implementation of the ordinance. The police
provincial director will decide on how the fund will be used.

In the explanatory note, the provincial board cited the increased
reliance on mobile phones, which has led to the rise of road
accidents.

“Texting while driving jeopardizes the life and limb not only of the
drivers but also of the vehicle occupants and pedestrians or innocent
by-standers that happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time,”
it added.

The ordinance shall take effect 15 days after its complete publication
in at least two newspapers of regional circulation. (Bukidnon News)

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