Congress approves bill against mobile-phone use while driving

A law that's long overdue
Jun 7, 2011

Congress has passed House Bill 4571 or the Anti-Texting while Driving Bill on its third and final reading, taking it one step closer into becoming a law during the 15th Congress.

House Bill 4571 criminalizes the use of a cellular phone--whether for texting or talking--while driving.

"While cellular phones have become an integral part of both business and personal lives, the alarming figures on cellphone-related accidents have transformed this technological gadget into a dangerous device," said Rep. Susan Yap of the second district of Tarlac. "The danger is not only to the lives and limbs of the general driving public but also to the innocent pedestrians."

Yap authored House Bill 318, which regulates the use of cellular phones while driving, which was consolidated into House Bill 4571.

With the passing of the bill in the Lower House, Yap is now preparing her appeal for fellow lawmakers to hasten the approval of counterpart bills in the Senate, specifically Senate Bills 872 and 1315 authored by Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Manny Villar, respectively.

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Yap is also confident that, with the passing of the bill on its third reading, it will finally become a law during the 15the Congress.

"The proposed law will promote the responsible use of cellular phones while driving and driver awareness to the dangers of road traffic. This bill would be particularly important in a country like the Philippines where a single traffic accident can be peculiarly costly--one accident could potentially cause heavy traffic congestion that results from great delays in the investigation and rescue processes," added Yap.

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Other bills consolidated under House Bill 4571 include House Bill Nos. 788, 986, 1277, 2136 and 3445 authored by Reps. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (3rd District, Pampanga), Augusto Syjuco (2nd District, Iloilo), Irwin C. Tieng (Party-list BUHAY) and Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David (4th District, Manila).

Now let's be honest, how many of you still text while driving?

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