House passes bill banning mobile phone use while driving

( The House of Representatives has approved House Bill 4571, or the "Anti-Mobile Communication Devices Use while Driving Act of 2011," reports the Philippine Star. The bill aims to promote road safety and regulates the use of mobile communications devices while driving, imposing penalties as much as P10,000 and the revocation of the violator’s driver's license.


The bill was authored by former President and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, and Buhay Rep. Irwin Tieng. Arroyo's son, Rep. Diosdado Arroyo, and several other House legislators served as co-authors.


"While some cities have enacted local ordinances prohibiting its use by drivers, there is a need to institute a similar measure on a nationwide scale to protect life, limb and property," Gonzales said.


According to the report, the bill defined motor vehicles as wheeled agricultural machineries, construction equipment and other forms of conveyances, regardless of whether machine, animal or human-powered, as long as operated or driven in public thoroughfares. However, drivers who use hands-free devices and/or perform urgent or official functions are exempted from the ban.


For more on this story, log on to the Philippine Star.

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