Press Release
August 24, 2008

Jinggoy submits "anti-cellphone use while driving" bill in Senate

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada proposes that those who shall key in messages or make a call using their mobile phone while driving be fined or imprisoned. "This is for the safety of drivers, and for the pedestrians and other road users as well," Senator Estrada said as he files Senate Bill 2529, or the "Anti-Cellular Phone Use While Driving Act of 2008." SB 2529 prohibits the use of cellular phone while driving all types of vehicles, by text messaging or by dial-up communication.

The bill also imposes a fine of not more than ten thousand pesos (Php 10,000) and imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than six years. Cellphone owners, however, may take advantage of different accessories like earphones, jacks, among others to be connected therein before using the same while driving vehicles.

As the bill reads, "While the State recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation-building, the State puts premium on the life of its citizens by regulating the use of communication gadgets and by using said gadgets in their proper perspective." "If we can instill discipline to the driving population, then we will be able to eliminate one primary cause of road accidents (aside from lack of road safety knowledge and poor infrastructure) which the United Nations considers as public health crisis as malaria and tuberculosis, in relation to number of deaths worldwide," Estrada noted. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 2000 data, road accidents is seventh biggest killer in the world and is expected to rise to third place by 2020.

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