MANILA, Philippines - A lawmaker has filed a measure criminalizing the use of mobile phones while driving.
First District Camarines Sur Rep. Rolandao Andaya Jr. said House Bill 3211 prohibits the use of cellphones while driving bicycles, pedicabs, habal-habal, trolleys, kuligligs, wagons, carriages, carts, sledges or chariots.
The proposed "Anti-Mobile Communications Devices Use While Driving" also covers the drivers of tractors and construction equipment such as graders, rollers, backbones, pay loaders, backhoes, cranes, bulldozers and concrete mixers.
Andaya said the use of mobile phones while driving poses "significant" accident risk to the user and other people on the road.
"Using a mobile phone while driving can impair the driver's performance. It provides the driver's physical and cognitive awareness and may therefore pose threat to other road users," Andaya said.
Under the bill, the drivers can only use cellphones if aided with hands-free communications device such as speakerphones, earphones or microphones or other similar device, which allows a person to make and receive calls without having to hold the cellphone.
Violators of the potential law will be fined P1,000 up to P10,000 and their licenses will be revoked.
The implementing agency may increase the fine every three years in the amount not exceeding 10 percent of the existing rates.
The Department of Transportation and Communications and the Land Transportation Office and other concerned agencies shall undertake a nationwide information campaign.