Sotto accuses LTO of overstretching anti-distracted driving law


Posted at May 23 2017 11:41 AM | Updated as of May 23 2017 01:42 PM

MANILA - Senate Majority Floor Leader Tito Sotto on Tuesday scored the Land Transportation Office for supposedly overstretching the Anti-Distracted Driving Act to impose bans on vehicle accessories.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) last week ordered the public to remove "defective and unauthorized accessories" from their dashboards and windshields as these could obstruct a driver's line of sight and may be "prejudicial to road safety."

The guideline covered accessories like hands-free devices, navigational gadgets, rosaries, sign boards, bobbing head dogs, "beckoning cat" lucky charms, and curtains.

Sotto however said the Anti-Distracted Driving Act did not provide for such prohibitions and that the LTO expanded the law's implementing rules and regulations, leaving many motorists confused and overwhelmed.

"Ang batas, hindi naman nakakalito. Ang nakakalito iyung IRR na ginawa nila. Section 4 and 5, tinitingnan ko nga, wala namang mention ng line of sight doon. Dinagdagan e," Sotto said in a phone interview with radio DZMM.

"Nasobrahan, pati ba naman mga rosaryo, bawal... Baka ang mga nag-suggest sa IRR, mga hindi nagmamaneho."

(The law was not confusing, it was their IRR that caused confusion. I reviewed Sections 4 and 5 of the law, there was no mention of 'line of sight' there. They only added that. It was exaggerated, even rosaries were banned. Maybe those who suggester the IRR do not drive themselves.)

Sotto, in a privilege speech on Monday, called on the LTO to suspend its guidelines and give way to a review of the IRR by the Senate public services committee.

A similar suggestion was made by Senator JV Ejercito.