Cesar Sarmiento calls transport agencies’ arrest of ‘distracted’ motorists unfair: Pinoys still clueless about the law


Catanduanes Rep. Cesar Sarmiento has told off officials of transportation agencies for cracking down on motorists using their cellphones while driving when they have yet to launch an intensified information campaign on Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act.

Sarmiento, who chairs the House transportation committee, said apprehending motorists for violating the law would be unfair since the law requires the concerned agencies to undertake an information and education campaign for a period of six months from the effectivity of the act.

“Since the implementing agencies failed to do that, I think it would be unfair for the public na mahuli nang ‘di nila naiintindihan [‘yung batas] (to be apprehended when they do not fully understand the law yet),” he said during the committee hearing Tuesday (May 23).

The lawmaker said apprehending motorists now for using their gadgets would appear “irregular” if transportation agencies have not conducted an information drive about the new law.

In attendance were officials from the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and Department of Transportation.

RA 10913 has caused confusion among motorists over where cellphones and other gadgets should be placed inside the car so they will not be accused of distracted driving.