DOTr clears ADDA guidelines for motorcycles; to re-implement soon

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has issued guidelines with regards to the placement of gadgets or navigational devices on motorcycles that will be allowed under the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) or RA 10913.

At a press conference at the LTO Central Office today, officials of the LTO demonstrated the proper way to mount a navigational device and action cam so as not to be considered a distraction or infraction of the line of sight rule.

According to the agency, navigational devices can be used while riding a motorcycle, so long as they are in navigation mode or operating the apps that help a driver navigate, such as Google Maps or Waze. Any manipulation of the device while riding, whether it is to input a destination or input text will be found in violation of the ADDA. Riders are recommended to pull over to a safe place and do so when the vehicle is stationary.

Cellphones or other similar devices will not be found in violation of the ADDA so long as they are properly mounted to the bike, whether to the fairing or to the handlebars. The agency stated that, because of the position of the handlebars, they do not interfere with a rider's line of sight. As such, the four inch rule recently announced for cars, trucks and buses will not be applicable to motorcycles.

Finally, the agency said non-navigational equipment mounted on bikes, such as rosaries, bobble-heads, action cameras and the like, will not be apprehended for the mean time while it focuses on cellphone use.

The DOTr plans to publish the Implementing Rules and Regulations in a newspaper of wide circulation on June 13, 2017. The agency did not state when the ADDA will be put in effect once again, though said it plans to follow the same 15 day schedule as before, making June 28 its possible re-implementation date. 

Just last May 23, the ADDA was suspended after one week in effect upon the request of Congress in order to clarify the many grey areas, particularly with regards to "line of sight" and where gadgets and navigational devices may be mounted, as well as whether OEM screens and navigational systems will be found in violation of the law.

Under RA 10913, drivers are not allowed to use mobile communication devices when operating a motorcycle. The of act of writing, reading, sending a text-based message, making phone calls, or watching movies, surfing the internet, reading an e-book or performing any sort of computation on a mobile device by a motorist is banned, even when stationary during traffic or on stop lights.

As before, the same fines still apply with the first offense having a fine of Php 5,000 while the second offense goes up to Php 10,000. And then, it is Php 15,000 for the third offense including suspension of the driver’s license for three months and Php 20,000 for the fourth offense including revocation of the driver’s license. Those caught in violation of the bill within a 50-meter radius of a school will be fined Php 30,000 and driver’s license suspension for three months.