Batocabe lectures LTFRB chief on Anti-Distracted Driving Law

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AKO-Bicol Party-List Rep. Rodel Batocabe on Tuesday (May 23) felt compelled to lecture Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Martin Delgra III regarding the rather confusing Republic Act (RA) no.10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Law.

During a Transportation Committee hearing, Delgra admitted before House politikos that the new law was silent on whether or not drivers who use navigational apps on their dashboard-mounted gadgets could be apprehended.

It can recalled that the Anti-Distracted Driving Law–which came to effect only last May 18–outlaws the use of mobile devices particularly those placed within the drivers’ line of sight.

“Whenever a law is silent, what you look into is the legislative intent and the spirit of the law. So what is the spirit? Distraction,” Batocabe, a lawyer, said in response to Delgra’s revelation.

“Kung ang Waze ko ba nakalagay dito, is it a distraction? No. It is not a distraction, it is a device that will aid me in driving,” he argued, pointing to an imaginary dashboard.

“Hindi mo na kailangan…ang espiritu ng batas ay distraction galing sa mga electronic communication. Anything that distracts you arising from this instruments, ayan violation yan,” Batocabe further explained, distinguishing the use of gadgets as a navigational tool.

Just minutes after the Committee hearing, the LTFRB announced the suspension of the Anti-Distracted Driving Law’s implementation pending a public information campaign.