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15 distracted drivers pay fines

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) earned P75,000 more than a month since it started implementing its no-contact apprehension of distracted drivers, an official said yesterday.

Ronnie Rivera, head of the MMDA’s no-contact apprehension unit, said 15 distracted drivers in Metro Manila were fined P5,000 each for their first violation of the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA), Republic Act 10913, from July 6 to Aug. 8.

“Based on our records 15 distracted drivers paid for their fines after they were caught driving while using their cellular phones, which is a violation of the ADDA,” Rivera told reporters.

In the MMDA’s database, Rivera said enforcers apprehended 547 distracted drivers since July 6.

He said that 167 of 547 distracted drivers are private car owners while 157 drove motorcycles, 82 drove Asian utility vehicles, 29 drove sport utility vehicles.

Twenty-five violators drove buses, 24 drove public utility jeepneys, 21 drove vans, 21 drove pick-ups, 13 drove trucks and eight drove taxis.

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“Most of the distracted drivers were caught violating the ADDA along MIA Road, EDSA and along Roxas Boulevard in Manila,” he said.

Under the MMDA’s no-contact policy, motorists will be notified of their violations two to three days after being caught and they will be given seven days to contest or pay their fines at the agency’s traffic adjudication board.

Rivera said drivers who wish to contest their violations will be allowed to view closed-circuit television footage showing they used their mobile phones while driving.

In the ADDA, distracted drivers will be fined P5,000 for the first offense; P10,000 for second offense; and P15,000 and a three-month suspension of their driver’s license for third offense.

Distracted drivers are also at risk of losing their driver’s license and fined P20,000 for succeeding offenses.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the MMDA are among the government agencies that enforce the ADDA along with the Highway Patrol Group and the Land Transportation Office.

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